Register Thursday | June 20 | 2019

A Key That Opens the Night

A poem

Before midnight the floodlights go quiet in the park.
The rink is blackened and the last boy skating.

A retriever complains on the far side of the crescent.
I hope this is her owner trudging through the exhausted snow,

his breath a cloud that disappears like anger,
like the clatter of a freight train hauling metal off

the island, a muffled rumba leaking out from speakers
near a burnished window or the lights erratically

vanishing from buildings that have lost their colour
except for a single, green, lit-up front door. A boy lugging

helmet and skates looks back to face whatever lies
behind him, ears on fire from the February chill, turning –