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Sestina For A Place

Eddy Yanofsky
From:   Blues & True Concussions : Six New Toronto Poets. Anansi, 1996.


The Bretonne figures of a man and a woman
stand in a tulip patch on the coffee bowl
we gave each other in Montréal
A blue glazed sky circles the lip
above the Bretonnes head gear. There another patch
of small carrots and a purple radish

fill the bowl placed next to the giant radish
on the window sill, a surprise for the woman
I live with occasionallly. Her plan is to make us bowls
for soup in her ceramics studio in Montréal,
although one does not exist yet, and the way of her trembling lip
when I upset things makes me tremble and desperate to patch

the cracks in our relationship, like the patches
of topsoil filling the cracks of the giant radish.
I found it in November, a knotted root like the elderly woman
with arthritic hands who dips them in a bowl
of dried petals from the flower sanctuary overlooking Montréal.
Her tongue traces her lower lip

washing away the colour and flavour of her rose lip-
stick, concentrating on her impressionist patch
of reconstructed flowers. It will be a gift for our new Montréal
apartment, which does not exist yet, a woman
and I will share, more than occasionally, near the lawn bowl
club in Westmount. There, the roots of a culture, like the giant radish

I found in my garden in November, flourish somehow, with sealed lips
as if a dress code is sufficient expression. But the green patch
of lawn, even as moss, will face the kitchen we may have in Montréal
by next spring, in time for Passover and horse radish,
ritual seder with family and friends the woman
I occasionally live with won t know. But their bowls

of soup will have been her invention, the glazed lips
inviting an elderly aunt to raise her bowl
revealing a seaweed patch
which will sway in the current of the soup in Montréal,
an illusion created in her studio which does not exist yet, like the radish
which appeared in my garden in November I surprised the woman

I occasionally live with, the woman who is learning to make bowls
for salads of radiccio in the Montréal
kitchen we may have in the spring, maybe.


Eddy Yanofsky's works copyright © to the author.


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