November Sun

The November sun can’t find its way
to me
It slants around
and dives
into the ground, the white crusty
snow and dirt
It leaps off a house
horizon and pell-mells in
through the long hall window
but I have already gone    It can’t
take me in its arms like a summer sun
It can’t draw me down into the grasses
tossed by the creek
It is fiercely forgetting
where I am, turning its hot face
to the bodies of the South    The days
shorten and stall,
everyone piled up in the house
and all our baubles
do not turn the dark around    One morning
from under your layers
brush open the curtain to see
frost works, and far off
the winter sun
Hearts grow stiff here
or die hardy   Afternoons spent
catching what you can
on your face    At night
never once does the name Canada
appear in your dreams—but the country
is tipping away, pulling
down and you are going with it
November’s sun is cold
and the earth grows colder

Questions and Answers

About “November Sun”:

When asked about my writing, I am sometimes reminded of this comment by Michael Ondatjee’s in Transitions III: Poetry (CommCept Publishing, 1978): “What I believed or felt when I wrote these poems is obviously not what I believe or feel now. One little nuance, one little image, and everything changes.”

This poem “November Sun” originally appeared in Poets’ Words. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 115 (Winter 1987): 105-106.

Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.