Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Carl Leggo

Cross-Word Puzzle

—York Harbour, May 13, 2004

in this still sacred place of solitude on the edge
of the North Atlantic we live each day with sturdy
rhythms and hold one another in the heart's light.

yesterday you raked autumn hay in the backyard,
while I took a respite from revisions to a slow essay,
and through the patio door watched you long.

on this four-year anniversary since we married,
again, and added another surprise twist to our story,
sewn with jagged and joyful seams, we are here.

we wear two wedding bands, the past, and more past,
reaching into the eager present and future, nothing
remembered, nothing forgotten, all stored, restored.

we have turned a circle of seasons, and though
we will never leave this place, we know, too,
we will never return since all turns are new, always.

today we biked four hours, a scribbled, scrawled loop
on a trail built for caribou and ATVís, on mud paths
our legs couldnít hold, and you took more risks than me.

you shot down hills like somersaults, paused to photograph
my descent, laughed with my chasing you over shards
of rock, washouts, jagged ruts in the marsh of tangled roots.

our stories intersect like words in a crossword puzzle,
letters shared, vertical and horizontal lines woven
into a quilt of many colours to keep us in any season.

we stopped at Sheppardís Grocery in Lark Harbour
to buy champagne, and tonight we will celebrate our
long lasting love, elastic even, while watching Survivor.

Does Wayne Gretzky Deliver Pizza?

every time I look at TV
a magazine newspaper billboard
I see Wayne Gretzkyís grin

is there anything
Wayne Gretzky wonít do
for another buck?

does he deliver the pizza
in fifteen minutes, a Dominoís sign
on Janetís wedding white Rolls Royce?

the other day I saw
Gretzky in Chatelaine,
his whole family curled
up in bed, watching TV,
drinking Folgerís coffee

I felt like a voyeur,
I donít want to see Wayne
and his family in bed,
and I sure donít intend
to drink Folgerís

I canít walk into the Bay
without Wayneís Wear,
black and gray, calling
out to me, and I like it
until I realize itís Gretzky again

Wayne can wear what he wants,
drink Folgersís, eat pizza,
I just donít want to know about it

when he endorses hockey
sticks, even skates,
I donít believe him

our idols are graven,
lacking gravity

Iím writing this poem
because I hope heíll read it
(do hockey players read poetry?)
and sue me for slander

poets ought to be sued, often,
if they arenít,
their poetry has lost its salt

©2005 by Carl Leggo

Carl Leggo is a professor at the University of British Columbia, where he teaches courses in writing. He is the author of three books: Growing Up Perpendicular on the Side of a Hill, View from My Mother's House, and Teaching to Wonder: Responding to Poetry in the Secondary Classroom.

  Home Contributors Past Issues Search   Links  Guidelines About Us

Subscribe to the Slow Trains newsletter