On Concession Eight West at Dusk, by Chris Pannell

April 10, 2016

The clouds over fields make fans

and a vortex. A purple sky turns slowly black.


We are ninety-eight percent water

moving at sixty kilometers per hour in a bus

susceptible to the slightest wind, or pot-hole.


One day, we’ll rejoin the water cycle as if

we were only ever participants in a storm –

after a life of holding up, in this other form.


James is weak, with a headache, unable

to muster the volume of voice to be irritable.


His wheelchair gleams blue and chrome

like a naval officer’s jacket, but he’s haggard.


A former trucker, he talks less on the way home

from dialysis than I’ve ever known –

too weak even for back-seat driving.


Goddess, when you take to the sky tonight

Take what remains of James in your arms.



Chris Pannell is the author of two poetry collections, Drive and the award-winning A Nervous City. His next collection arrives this fall from Buckrider Books.


No comments have been posted yet.

Add a Comment

Your Comment:

Your Name:

Your Email Address: (Won't be published)

Your Website: (If you've got one)

Contact Us

280 James Street North
Hamilton, ON L8R 2L3

Tel: 905.972.9885

email us