Monday, February 20, 2017



Here are old ticket stubs and pressed flowers.
A picture of me with punk rock red hair. A guitar
I played four hours a day for years. This is me
at my first teaching job. A girl is doing Henna
on a friend’s forearm. She leaves thirty Don’t Do
Drugs stickers all over the classroom. This is me
picking at the soft glue of my adult life. Here is
the boutineer I wore to a Sadie Hawkins dance.
Life-savers, a white doily, coloured streamers.
Here are years of trying to drink myself invisible.
Can you see me? Me too. Here is a black eye, 
a bloodied face. My grand-mother breaking a hip,
then me running to the neighbour’s next door.
Here are all the precious moments time forges
stuffed into a dossier, a scrapbook of worries,
the evidence misfiled, or tampered with, so you
have to sort it yourself. The pages are dust and
moonbeams. Lightning storms and yellow grass.
I have left places for new pictures. Absences are
intentional. There is one of a polar bear to show
my grand-children. One of me at a demonstration.
I am reading poetry, or some kind of manifesto.
You can tell by the blue flames kindled in my eyes
I believe defending ideas is worth some tear-gas
and riot police. Let’s all fight for a cause, even
if that cause is getting out of bed in the morning,
pasting down pictures, and using up all the glitter.
I bequeath you these pages instead of an Ars Poetica.
Add anything you like. A butterfly conservatory.
Tiger Swallowtails, Ulysses, beauty's useless wings. 

By Chris Banks

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