just jack by Joe Blades

no aide
no entourage
no bodyguard
just jack
at the entrance
to moe’s
in dorval
make that
pierre elliott trudeau
airport
catching
a plane or
between flights
and jack goes
to the bar
not a table
like the one
for two i’m
at alone with
mug of beer
and empty
sandwich plate
journalling
while jack gets
a build your own
montréal smoked
meat platter
et un verre
de vin rouge
looking out
over the tarmac
gates and
the endless
movements
of silver birds
international
and domestic

Comments

Ellen S, Jaffe said…
Thank you for your poem, Joe. I am not sure how to submit a poem (if this is still open), so I'm including it here. Ellen S. Jaffe
**********************************

For Jack Layton: State Funeral and Celebration, August 27, 2011

Dream no little dreams (Indigenous prayer, spoken at the funeral)

The bagpipes play their strange sad lament –
TV lets us see everything without being there:
Olivia Chow’s strained face, baby Beatrice,
the silent surging crowd.

This morning I cleaned my kitchen cupboards,
touched up the orange paint (Colorado Dawn) –
death does this, makes us clean, straighten, see, listen, and touch –
loved ones, flowers, household clutter.

Rise Up – Amazing Grace – Hallelujah –
O Canada, how can we lose this man, who gave a voice to the voiceless,
home to the homeless, a song of hope to people in need –
not a saint, but a very human being.

I regret I did not know you, met you
only once – an NDP meeting – shook your hand,
saw your smile. The political is personal,
the personal political – you knew this by heart.

Now you go from the ordinary world – bike paths,
jam sessions, elections – into the mystic...
Into The Mystic, where we can’t yet follow.
All our love goes with you – love is all
we need to keep your dreams alive.


Ellen S. Jaffe

51 Chatham St.
Hamilton ON L8P 2B3
ejaffe@sympatico.ca
905-308-7683

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