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December 19, 2016 / hbrowne4

Christmas Challenge

Vancouver by Jennifer McGrath.

A guy in the apartment block across from us jumped out of the window

on Christmas morning.

on the balcony with the sweetpea tendrils

Snaking their way up the netting I bought

Feeling the need to create, produce instead of

I wasn’t there.

I’d be sitting on a bench in Stanley Park watching the sky turn pink.

English Bay, left my bag in the sand

waded into the cool water and looked out into the twilight.

long brown hair and a grey beard.

eyes a strange incisive blue.

smiled at each other.

there were so many possibilities

So many ways

I could die

or disappear here

and no one would know.

“The water is gorgeous”

I just smile back and look at the beach.

My little pile sitting there expectantly

Keys, towel, clothes

Reminders of the world

Anchors or chains.

I ducked under the water and let my hair flow around me

An oil slick down my back

When I resurface.

I wonder what it would feel like to ignore time.

Just sleep, eat, swim, walk, smile, kiss,

there’s enough to go round

Sleep on a couch someone has left out

Collect cans and get a dollar to buy

Enough bread to live on.

The homeless people migrate with the weather like birds

Most have gone now.

A woman slept inside her trolley

And it went on fire.

She burnt to death.

Back home for a happy Christmas

No Christmas morning suicides

Just smiles, hugs,

No feeling lonely with a man beside you

Swallowed up by the silence that

Isn’t loud enough to block out the voices.

The possibilities,

The questions,

Why is it not the same as before?

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