I’ve learned to keep my faith in place, and sing of streets,
warm hands cupped around coffee, fresh memories
steaming to the surface, fleeing the past on straight
rails, staying steps ahead, riding the present train
of thought. Inside my mind, the blur of bedsheets
twisted, tightly gripped, is left far behind by slim
fingers that unfurled when sleep was given the slip,
fingers that now find themselves curled around comfort.
The blur that fills my dirty window—that’s life, I think—
bright pictures painted on a dirty canvas, a moving
painting, a moving painting that allows no past of regret,
of nostalgia, of sorrow, of anything that may lead
to thoughts of twisted sheets of shattered glass
in picture frames. Dark faces from past lives.
Here, now, are straight lines and smooth glass,
driving forward, ever onward, fingers reaching
for a known destination, a familiar face,
for a place I sing of that can safely hold my faith.
*Honorable mention: 2023 Valiant Scribe poetry competition.
Ace Baker is a Vancouver writer, poet, and writing coach. His collection of short fiction, How to Make a Killing Jar, was published at the end of August, 2023, and has been nominated for the Atwood-Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His poetry has won the SIWC Award, the PNWA Prize, and the Magpie contest, among others, and has been nominated for National Magazine Awards and the Pushcart Prize. He is presenting three workshops at the www.SIWC.ca conference in October, 2023, and can be reached at email@example.com