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Poems by Arleen Pare











suppose a rope   suppose linear   a trope is not always   not
necessarily round   not a birthday   a cake hiding ten shining dimes
not a celebration   a rope might be plastic   if a rope   it could be red
or it could be made of brown hemp    long enough and an occasion to jump.
occasionally   and when the weather permits
an occasional recourse to hold something or someone   or lasso
there is always an end to hold   sometimes two   if there are two ends
two girls must hold, one at each end of the span

If there is chalk there might be a game   hopping into squares or accidentally
not into squares   suppose the squares are numbered
then they are hopped   over or into   sequentially   hope is always possible   a friend
is always possible   at the top   under a curved line
the word HOME
and a smooth stone   if there is a phone
there is assonance   and a party line might be at the other end
a party line is not always a party   or political   the phone
is Bakelite   necessarily at that time black   chalk is white
or it might be yellow cylindrical   chalk is to sock
as thistle is to ditch   or whistle   stitch is to knot as clot is to cream
which is not the case here
suppose the sock is navy blue   paired   it could be a white sock
with a short cuff   the sort of sock that can be worn into a classroom

the list might be considered friendly   if apple   if thistle
if thistle in spring   it might include fairies   if unfriendly
there will be repercussions   a customary sadness   spoons too
can be friendly   an indication of alphabet soup
and marbles glass   zero   round blues
cat’s eyes and zero round translucent greens


Soul of the world

in the drawing   crayon on Protestant School Board newsprint
large standard issue
the woman is pushing the baby carriage into the future   the baby
does not look concerned
facing the mother facing the past
this could go almost anywhere
the seven-year-old artist pushes the story past the paper’s right edge
presses hard with the green
rocking on time’s uncertain fulcrum
having reached the purported age
of reason   about to want
explanations   halfway between inside and out
despite appearances her past contains certain dark ages   edges
and though we now understand that time no longer exists
we still ask where are they going   that blithe baby
mother and carriage
where are they on their way to
aiming right off the page


Arleen Paré has published five books: Paper TrailLeaving NowLake of Two MountainsHe Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car, and The Girls With Stone Faces. Originally from Montreal, she now resides in Victoria, where she lives with her partner, Chris Fox



Such beautiful work/play, Arleen. From _First_, I take it?

thanks, Maureen. And yes, from First A xo

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