Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Tuesday poem #508 : Chris Banks : Sagas




When the day is without surprises, when poetry
leaves town without even a word of goodbye, when
the only thing you can bear to read is the recipe

on the back of the can, when the butcher paper
stinks of blood, when you no longer have any

stomach for reality’s game of solitaire because
your poker face is wearing thin, suddenly it all

changes with your child’s smile, your lover’s hug,
a parcel arrives with a first edition, or a new

pair of slippers caresses your feet, and the tiniest
mirrors of delight all turn toward you, at once,

so you are a beautiful creature in the midst of
remembering Paris streets, walking along the Seine,

the first time you ate a blood orange, old sagas
accruing interest in memory’s off-shore accounts,

and you think, what are these riches? How did I
become this wealthy? It is enough to make you smile,

to forget the lingering smell of old coffee wafting
from the kitchen, the dailiness of fifty plus years,

so you may enjoy a moment’s mirage, a feeling of
awe, unbridled wonder, what you might imagine

an explorer felt a long time ago when first entering
a cave, lighting a torch and seeing antelope, or perhaps

a herd of bison, migrating across cavern walls.




Chris Banks is a Canadian poet and author of six collections of poems, most recently Deepfake Serenade out with Nightwood Editions (Fall 2021). His first full-length collection, Bonfires, was awarded the Jack Chalmers Award for poetry by the Canadian Authors’ Association in 2004. Bonfires was also a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry in Canada.  His poetry has appeared in The New Quarterly, Arc Magazine, The Antigonish Review, Event, The Malahat Review, GRIFFEL, American Poetry Journal, Prism International, among other publications. He lives and writes in Kitchener, Ontario.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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