All The Way Down Here

Refusing to be pushed around, this is a leftover from falling off
Humpty Dumpty’s wall. Vaguely recalling that last big step
as a Matterhorn of choice, a matter of your own matter:
Don’t just slay the dragon; punish it for being a dragon.

How’s that for a foreign policy? Anything to keep from drowning
in abashment or some other self-inflicted anesthetic. Plunk, plunk,
plunk, mea culpa ninja banjos: moths pelting picture windows
like lonesome snowflakes. Shameless repeat offender fuzz-bugs

with trippy attention spans, trying to get in. Ever-tighter circles
redefining everything they don’t know they really know after all.
Known to police, hanging on with an oily, stubborn exhaustion
more than any wish that’s beyond them. Ending up on screens,

sills and doors disguised as grey, hooded wood. Pretending
to get extra points for not being here. And all those
post-Oscars postures: “Thank-you, thank-you, we’ve been here
all night long.” Offhand, as if they’ve been caught

moving out in front of the neighbours. Lack of consideration
is a kind of greed, forever open
to further circumstantial interpretation and something
that can never be taken back.

This poem “All The Way Down Here” originally appeared in Indigenous Focus. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 215 (Winter 2012): 53.

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