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Serpentine Road

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

We both heard the noise on the roof.
A Buddhist gong resonating
through the building's plumbing,
me trying to visualize
Serpentine Road in Bermuda
and her dreaming she's
one of Shakespeare s witches
back from a weekend in the north
with two other women.
It s something frightening and peculiar to her,
adding to my fears
because I might have that dream
and haven t read Macbeth.

If only the cats would lie still
but they too sense
this sudden change in the room
a crescent moon in the south
that hasn t shifted to the west,
so unusual this close to dawn
that we embrace and change
the geography of their sleep
our feet shifting under the covers.

We re a bit crazy,
change this mood with
light from my lamp.
Then I think how the wind
bangs the storm shutters
on my sister s house,
when it s wild at night
blowing away the sound of tree frogs
that chirp like hatched eggs,

the only way in which I can justify
my fear of them; imagine their multitudes
flinging off branches and fronds,
tiny buds scattered across the road
pebbling the ride under the moped.

I could hear the storm shutters
bang like crazy from Serpentine Rd.,
past the narrow roundabout
where the roads cut thin as cross-hairs,
where lights are on
in limestone buildings
and someone slams a screen door.
This was before my wife,
when it was impossible
to imagine my sister sleeping soundly
in the gale winds on that island.

Now I release the beaded lamp cord.
The roof bangs
and I tell both of us;
it s the plumbing, what else?
let s stop scaring ourselves.
But she s already calm.
I lie back,
watch our windows,
the moon, and wait
for other lights.

Eddy Yanofsky's works copyright © to the author.

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