Dale Zieroth, Clearing: Poems from a Journey (Toronto: Anansi, 1973): 5.
2huddles by the only railway tracks in
3fifty miles. One white grain elevator
4tells you where you are, from any
5direction. After four fires the place
6is still big enough to have the
7usual buildings: school, hall,
9Sunday evenings, a passenger
10train; Thursday, a freight.
11There are no factories here
12and no luxuries. On two sides
13there are hay fields and country;
14machinery and men sometimes move
15there. North of here is nothing.
16On Saturday night there are Indians
17sick in the pub and Crazy John sitting
18in the poolhall where he's sat for years
19watching the spinning balls, the young men,
20who knows what. Visitors soon discover
21there are some here who like
22what they have lived through. Mostly, there
23are young men who stand waiting
24with their hands made fists in
25pockets that are empty, young men
26who know that Winnipeg
27(200 miles south and not big enough
28for a place on the map of the world
29in the post office), that Winnipeg
30is where the world begins.
1] Glenella: population 555 (1996), northeast of Brandon, northwest of Winnipeg (the capital of the province of Manitoba). Back to Line
8] Glenella Elementary School, 400 Main Street, and Grass River School; Glenella Community Hall, 100 Ray Street; Preisentanz General Store, 44 Main Street South; Corona Hotel, 75 2nd Street. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors:
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
Copyright © David Zieroth. Written permission is required to republish the poem.