Prairie Fire - - NEIL SURKAN -

Eel­ing be­tween shook Ves­pas

and hatch­backs, an empty flatbed

ca­reens to the yard on the tip

of even­ing, Fri­day, Thanks­giv­ing

Week­end, Year of the Rats that dash

un­der Bril­los of gnarled re­bar.

Sid revs through the gate and parks

cheek to cheek with the Stinger;

he’s so at home among ma­chines,

he treats mir­rors like phantom

limbs, nes­tles the right above

the other cab’s hood. He could scoop

a flaxseed off your philthrum

with a fork­lift prong; when he swings

con­crete blocks into place with a crane,

they float like jet-puffed marsh­mal­lows.

Since the re­ces­sion, Pete, Thad,

and Joe are gone, but they keep him

for the odd jobs, the fi­nesse, shit

with stained glass, ex­ca­va­tions

around gas pipes. Plus, some­one’s

gotta fuck the dog.

But now he’s headed home

to his old lady, wad­dling

across the lot like a her­mit

without its shell. His bur­gundy

Chev’s side panel’s more gashed

than a pop can a teen

turned into a pipe;

two mouldy car­pet rolls

com­fort each other in the bed,

another home reno he never

got around to. He blues the air

with an Ex­port A and thinks

about last year, when the four of them

cracked brews in the util­ity van

while Fogerty ripped his lar­ynx

on the ra­dio. If he were

a pussy he’d be sad, but

the only thing he lets move him

is be­ing a grand­dad—

that’s also the rea­son

he hasn’t bought a liq­ui­dated

house in Ne­vada. Some glammed dupe’s

au­to­tuned voice spurts on Sun FM

while he speeds past Cherry Lane Mall,

the sushi restau­rant torched

for the in­sur­ance, sil­hou­ettes

slouched on park swings, list­less

and shrink­ing as the dark pro­gresses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.