Register Sunday | June 16 | 2019

Clocks of Rain

Morning Glories: Poems to kick-start your working day

—are you all right are you hurt can you move how clearly men speak through the blown-out window undo the seat belt undo the seat belt and fall headfirst into the rain pulled from a wrecked car the side of the road scarlet apples rolling here there each one a miniature emergency a loop of cord a coat a scattering of glass hands shaking water running down someone’s face dark trees behind a van brushwork on a Chinese screen a fire truck police car glaze of rain this is where it happened an ambulance with its doors opening into a throat of darkness—

Stops.

It stops—

Upside down,
he’s moaning, blood in his hair.

                                                                                      Broken glass

grinds in my mouth

                                Smashed air. The many clocks

of rain, slapping wipers jerk and lift of the tires the car silkily veering off the wrong way on a wet road a long, vertiginous descent frenzy of wipers this is how it comes gracefully the end of things a guardrail a ditch a life closing with a little sound a click nothing to fear brace hard the car slams into the rail on the driver’s side hooks metal flips hurtles down the highway on the roof the wheels spinning like a chase of deer—

Stops.

It stops—

inside out bones showing against shadow white puzzle pieces nestled one against the other delicate skull wide-open jaw sinuous length of spine in the hospital a doctor traced

                    smashed air. The many clocks

many voices are you all right are you hurt can you move how clearly men speak through the blown-out window undo the seat belt undo the seat belt and fall headfirst into the rain pulled from a wrecked car the side of the road scarlet apples rolling here there each one a miniature emergency a loop of cord a coat a scattering of glass hands shaking water running down someone’s face dark trees behind a van brushwork on a Chinese screen a fire truck police car glaze of rain this is where it happened an ambulance with its doors opening backwards to show watery marks on the ultrasound yes you’re thinking it could be you it could be your bird heart beating now now now.

 

From Quick

Now available for purchase in stores or through McClelland and Stewart.
(More from McClelland & Stewart's poetry programme . . .)

Anne Simpson is the author of three books of poetry, Light Falls Through You, winner of the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Atlantic Poetry Prize; Loop, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize; and, most recently, Quick. She is also the author of a novel, Canterbury Beach. She lives in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where she helped establish the Writing Centre at St. Francis Xavier University.