Poetry

Killing me the rest of the way

HENRY DOYLE

For Al Purdy

the bar is closing

the doors locked

the bartender was cashing out

the waitress with big pancake breasts counting tips

the barroom cleaner putting chairs on tables

the end of another labour-pool work week

I sit finishing off a mug of beer

empty mugs in front of me

I stare into the mirror behind the bar

long tangled cement-dust hair

hardened tortured hands

hard hat

work gloves

pouch

hammer

nails scattered out onto the bar

a week of digging holes

jack-hammering 4 storeys underground

I look across the deserted bar

“Drink up, Joe. Hell is closed.”

laughing out the side of his mouth

Killing me the rest of the way.

Tags
No items found.

HENRY DOYLE

Henry Doyle has been working as a custodian and maintenance worker in shelters and SROs on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver since 2008. He now works in the biggest shelter in North America. Anvil Press published his debut collection, No Shelter, in 2021.


SUGGESTIONS FOR YOU

Poetry
ZACHARIAH WELLS

Canada, More or Less

Zachariah Wells defines Canada as a land of "vegans and seal-clubbers, loggers and tree-huggers" in this sardonic poem.

Poetry
Geoff Inverarity

Traffic Reports in Strange Cities

Keep your radio on—otherwise you might not make it home.

Poetry
JORDAN ABEL

Warpath

he played injun in gods country where boys proved themselves clean / dumb beasts who could cut fire out of the whitest sand