Canadian Poetry Online top banner link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page

At Evergreen Cemetery

Al Purdy
From:   Beyond Remembering - The collected poems of Al Purdy. 2000.


The still grey face and withered body:
without resistance winter enters in,
as if she were a stone or fallen tree,
her temperature the same as the landscape's —
How she would have complained about that,
the indignity of finally being without heat,
an insult from the particular god she believed in,
and worse than the fall that killed her —
Now a thought flies into the cemetery
from Vancouver, another from Edmonton,
- and fade in the January day like fireflies.
I suppose relatives are a little slower
getting the evening meal because of that —
perhaps late for next day's appointments,
the tight schedule of seconds overturned,
everything set a little back or ahead,
the junctures of time moving and still:
settling finally into a new pattern,
by which lovers, hurrying towards each other
on streetcorners, do not fail to meet —
Myself, having the sense of something going
on without my knowledge, changes taking place
that I should be concerned with,
sit motionless in the black car behind the hearse,
waiting to re-enter a different world.


Al Purdy's works copyright © to The Estate of Al Purdy.


Canadian Poetry Online bottom banner link to University of Toronto Libraries home page link to Digital Collections home page link to University of Toronto Library catalogue link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page