Departure by Jane Urquhart

urquhart departure

urquhart departure
Niagara Horseshoe Falls and Table Rock, 1842. Engraved by J. Cousen after a picture by W.H. Bartlett. Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

When grandmother
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡fell in love
for the third time
there were months
of perfectly planned

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡once his cuff link
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡fell into the river

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡once he whistled

and because she could not
time and meaning

events evolved to
cold pure words

written on a photograph
in black and white

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡of grandmother’s third love
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡standing near
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡what’s left of
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡table rock

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡looking past
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡the fog of the falls
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡to the american side

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡thinking of departure


Source: Urquhart, Jane. False Shuffles. Victoria: Press Porcépic, 1982. Section entitled The Undertaker’s Bride. 

Click to see more of Urquhart’s The Undertaker’s Bride poems 

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