This is before the first day of school
and rowing downriver to the docks.
This is before seeing death a first time
and watching rustlers on the television.
Before my fringed jacket, proudly worn,
and my favourite shirt, with balloons on it.
Before killing the bird I’d always regret
and autumnal games of touch football.
And that dream of leaves I can’t shut away.
Before Miss Duke’s legs set me thinking
and the horses were lost to the fire.
This is before truth mattered
and my parents walked the way of the Earth.
And this is after.
Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island, BC, is a Pushcart nominee with over a thousand poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press), An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy (Cawing Crow Press) and Like As If (Pski’s Porch), all available via Amazon.