Ours for the Picking

One day the dozers came, dumpers too,
smeared the ground. The way it was was ours
for the picking, factory seconds.
So we built again. Next time was what
an adjuster calls an act of God,
though this has its other names: che sarà€
for one, tradition, redundancy. Pickings
remained and again we rose up, again
chose the latest in knobs and shades.
Small birds meanwhile made short work
of the extras in the flaking bark,
the way a gentle-tweezered nurse scrapes
your abrasions to a raw purity, pickings done.

This poem “Ours for the Picking” originally appeared in Archives and History. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 178 (Autumn 2003): 48-48.

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.