From Slant Room, Michael Eden Reynolds’s first collection of poetry, published by Porcupine’s Quill in 2009. This poem won second prize in the 2009 prism international poetry contest. Reynolds lives in Whitehorse.
Taking on the pallor of the poet in the thin dawn light he stands alone from breakfast, steps outdoors without shoes, in undershirt, cuffs of his pyjama slacks cupped under-heel. The mountains and most distant fields turn beneath a charge of thunderclouds. A pumpjack in its steady thoughtless prayer is swallowed in a foam of rain and wind-whipped flax. From the stillness of the nearer field a riffle threads its way onto the lawn, as if a giant wing was trailing on the earth. The hairs upon his feet and up his legs are lifted, his pants like tandem windsocks billow— Inside the storm, feet bloodied on the lichen-covered rocks and climbing, his clothes and skin translucent and alive with light: Sweet lord, he cries into the broken sky, if only you will have me, I will be true this time!