“Love to But” by Julie Bruck

Julie Bruck


Our very important neighbor’s
fused to his new Cingular headset:
Now he can talk and walk.
Blah-blah-blah goes Mr. de Broff.
This makes it hard to hear
even the packs of feral dogs
howling all night, or the cats
doing what they do in our dark
fog-bound city gardens.
The world needs its chemistry
checked, that’s for sure.
The poisoned river is high,
fast at this time of year.
Fences between houses are down,
and we all like our boundaries.
Pharmacies? Closed.
All essential services, shut.
Time to fetch my daughter
from a birthday party which
ended in 1963, but she runs late.
Sometimes, I have to pry her
from the door-jamb, carry
her to the car like a small,
warm totem pole with sneakers.
A yellow Hummer slipped
through a crack in our street
on Tuesday: not seen nor
heard from since, despite
the crowd of looky-lu’s,
still milling around out there.
Love to. But these are
strange times. I could
expire before I meet
you at the gate. Yessir.
Love to. Toothache.

from Rattle #35, Summer 2011
Tribute to Canadian Poets

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