Volume 24, Number 139,

Two Poems
by Bob Boulton

Poem for Debbie and Mary

When there were still
when circuses were still a good thing
and I was still a boy
and I watched the acrobats swing
swing from that trapeze way up there
and I thought
I wish I could do that.
Might have missed but caught in time.
Joyful in the danger you create.
So seemingly effortless
after only OK I know years of practice but still
That is how listening to you
Read your poems out loud in your quiet voices
made me feel,
across the library table from me.
Let us all rejoice and let the commas fall where they may
in the village of Point Edward.
Proudly Independent.

Moments with Grandpa

I sent off Grandpa’s desk today.
The black one he sat at in the corner
to count his coins,
each one
spent twice
three times
or more
to somehow pay the debts piled high

Goodbye old desk. Godspeed to you.
Safe travel out west to Calgary
to cousin Dave’s, your new home,
a welcoming corner of the world

In my mind’s eye,
as Grandpa, almost sightless, might have said,
I still see him sitting at it.
One hand counting too few coins.
The other wrapped around his cane.
That cane, now mine, in the corner of my office.
Twisted. Made from a tree root, varnished.
Grandpa bought it at dirt-road country auction for twenty-five cents.
Driving it home by horse and buggy.
Marching the kids, all six,
around the oilcloth covered kitchen table.
Singing songs,
pumping his new cane up and down in front of his family parade
and showing off
for Grandma, smiling from her rocking chair.

A greater man than we imagined then.
A driver of buggies and a teller of stories.
A marcher of kids and a buyer of canes.

With his cane and his desk and twenty-five cents.
A counter of coins, twenty-five cents.