Safety Check

Safety Check

 

The spare tire lurks—useless, flat,

only a metaphor for safety—there, hanging

off the back of my ’97 Toyota Rav

 

brilliant with the day’s radiance against

the muted, algaed driveway that slopes

so steeply down to the busy street

 

overhung by the leaning Douglas fir

that was whacked by a falling cedar some

years ago (before I bought this house)

 

where the robins have built their nest

right above the sidewalk and bring red worms

with threads of moss and clucks of alarm all day.

 

If I put my hands on the mail in the pandemic

how do I open the door?  How do I open

the flip-top of disinfectant wipes?

 

When I was a child, how did I move

so lightly from the transom to the dinghy,

from dinghy to the rocky shore

 

without getting wet at all?  The Summer

I lived in Vancouver with an ear virus

and couldn’t stand up at all.  What?

 

Resilience is the word everybody’s using,

making bright sounds with dark and sticky

implications.  Meanwhile

 

down there on the sidewalk some kind of

weird shepherd-corgi cross is looking up, is

a dog with short legs and long aspirations.

One thought on “Safety Check

  1. So much of this is wonderful, but my favourite part has to be this moment:

    When I was a child, how did I move

    so lightly from the transom to the dinghy,

    from dinghy to the rocky shore

    without getting wet at all? The Summer

    I lived in Vancouver with an ear virus

    and couldn’t stand up at all. What?

    Resilience is the word everybody’s using,

    making bright sounds with dark and sticky

    implications.

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