In the winter the Interior stopsThe shops close
Clothes hang frozen on the line.
With the summer tourists gone
Birdsong is ended
The water is locked away in the hills
And the waterfall hangs suspended.
No one takes down the signs that read
“Entering tunnel, remove sunglasses”.
Stopped by the wind at the top of the passes
We look down
On some tiny, frozen, unmoving town,
Down on a land without seed.
The city, car-filled, cascading, bickering,
Seems so long, long ago.
Look down on the river trickling
Through the desert dusty with snow –
The tracks of coyote and deer
Echo the unseen in our own austerity.
Will Spring ever come, here?
In this desolate clarity?
With blossoming fruit trees and softening lakes?
It will, and the snow will be brushed from the sage
But until then the only life that we see
Lily pads of ice
Flowing down the Fraser to the sea.
Published: Candelabrum, UK, April 2004