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Poetry Friday: "Departures" by M. Travis Lane

Summertime is traditionally a time devoted to vacations, and travel. Sometimes to distant lands, sometimes down the street for a barbecue.

But what if you're having a "staycation" this year. How will you travel? Through the magic offered every Poetry Friday, of course.

And so we embark upon a new poetic vacation to take our minds to places new and strange, led by our intrepid guide M. Travis Lane and her poem "Departures" (from Reckonings).


The plane takes off. A seagull scuds
the far end of the runway.
Beyond, a tiny smoke curls up
from the dusky tatters of the woods.
And we go home, non-travellers,
who leave the long departures til the end.

Where could we go? to read the world
from some air-seated atlas, trail our hands
across the surface of seas,
or fondle ponds and rivulets
like beads in some old bureau drawer
among the pins and photographs—
(a child's face on a browning card,
tender, distrustful, petulant—)

Open the window. The mirror shakes.
All that good dust flies out of doors.
In this small attic of lost time
we stand and watch the distances
expand. This place is travelling
too, has left us,
now, is different.
Where were we standing when you left?

The trees have turned to ash.
I see a jet's white spiral in the west.


CanLit Departures Goose Lane Editions L. Travis Lane poetry Poetry Friday Reckoning

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