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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Eternal Saturday Evening at the Edmonston Terminal



Oh yes, this is the good stuff.
A&W, with a coffee and the Globe & Mail book section all stretched out before me.
"How a Poem Works." And yet it doesn't. It plays.
Let's strain for nothing. God does not give a good Goddamn whether you or I are poets.
Still, this is the good stuff. Only rain, and darkness, and taxi light upon taxi light reflection travelling backward across the plate-glass window.
Here comes the night.
Food's more fun at A&W:
The menu framed in orange-pink neon;
Chubby Chicken and the Burger Family are still here;
Happy mugs of root beer to a polky tuba tune.
Although no families are here; it being near midnight.
Instead , last call for the night bus to Prince George;
Here comes the night.
A guy walks in with a sleeping bag, looking like Tim McVeigh in a khaki headband;
A guy walks out without one arm, shouting nothing.
The PA plays softly,
Here comes the night.
As if no one might notice.
The photo machine stands empty, drapes drawn;
No lovers left, not even dreams of lovers.
The patient sound of patent leather upon tiles, upon pavement, upon night.
Chubby Chicken must die.
Timothy McVeigh coughs, one hand to his mouth; is there blood?
The cash register chirrups as another burger is dragged off to the shadows to be eaten in the appetizing pink-orange shadow.
Here comes the night.
The bus cart rumbles by my table on tiles,
The spilled root beer of the day wiped clean.
Herman and the Hermits start to sing:
There's a kind of hush
All over the world tonight…
Whatever happened to Herman?
I heard he died choking on a chicken sandwich.
Or does anything really die? Then why not memories?
Is there death? Or is it something we only wish for?
Has anyone ever died, then come back to show us it was real?
I suspect conspiracy.
Here comes the night..

-- Stephen K. Roney


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