Ian Williams. You Know Who You Are. Hamilton, Ontario: Wolsak and Wynn. 2010.
1Fists in our sleeves, we reach our limit. No way
2past Lake Ontario, nothing else to do
3until you say the thing you need to say.
4Sweeten it if you like. Stir in a name.
5It’s only talk and we’ve talked our heads to
6foam before, testing the limit in a way.
7Like the last time our four feet inched partway
8over the city’s ledge. Lightheaded you
9started to say something you needed to say
10then started again, We could– we can fly one way.
11Right over the lake. How you said it, as if we were two
12wild geese, no credit limit in the way. Ain’t no way,
13I said. Way. No way. Way. Tonight at the lake
14your courage fails again. Knuckles in your pits, you
15flap your arms and squawk. Say what you’re dying to say.
16Of course, don’t. We’re getting carried away.
17We’ll stay this side of Lake Ontario, clenched. Nous
18sommes à la limite de l’amitié – find a way
19to translate. If you won’t say, I won’t say.
RPO poem Editors
Poem printed with permission of the author.