Poem of the Month
a love-hate song to a hometown

By Lesley Trites

Published on June 6, 2012

In Fredericton, we climbed buildings

we ate Chinese in the

valleys of elementary school

roofs,              me

                         spitting out the oil


we drank vodka

straight from the bottle

under the bridge,  among supports and spiders,


scared to fall out of the sky


sometimes we drank cheap wine

in the graveyard before we were legal,


scared of ghostly security guards


we stayed in the darkroom

until the morning parking attendant

came on duty  then

drank coffee

at the only 24-hour restaurant


always over-caffeinated


and our rollerblades

stroked the lonely pavement

at a clean 3 a.m.                me

tripping on air


we rolled joints bigger

than two thick fingers

smoked them on our backs by the lake

and when you introduced me to jack kerouac,

all i wanted to do

was hit the road, hard


so easily swayed

we braved snowstorms

for photography outings to

abandoned buildings

and punk shows, out-of-towners


pretending to like punk


we named plants

and crashed cars


always a terrible driver


we attended the yearly rave at the market

and returned the next morning, Saturday,

for freshly-squeezed orange juice, coffee,

and samosas


always ready to dance


we watched the sun rise

from the lighthouse, smoke from the night before

still inhabiting our clothes

like an unsolicited lover


always the last one

to want to go home.

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