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A Labyrinth Doesn't Miss
by Lesley-Anne Bourne


(in memory of bpNichol, and for RaeAnn Thorsteinson)

It doesn't miss her steps, long strides her
clunky boots signed into the earth, stomped
really. Every day she walked not quickly
but not the opposite either, and even

when it started raining she stayed
with what made her cry in the centre. If
the snow the last day began just before
the middle, if, let's say, it flurried, there

was no sign she didn't hurry or
leave, didn't choose the path down the middle
straight out, through the detritus that was
the herb garden, past the gazebo too coldly

lifeless to sit in anymore, all the way to
the almost empty parking lot. She didn't run along
the rest of it, joy and grief battling again, didn't
flee or let out

screams that daily she wrapped in her burgundy
and blue scarf. And after a while she had to admit
she didn't know anymore what "daily" meant. She
heard a man she'd loved say, "Come back

to the dailyness of daily life." Believe it or not
the labyrinth heard too, it would have to admit
later if questioned. The barren trees towered
her loss, and her senseless

attempts at making sense (as she sometimes called
them afraid and angry, looping back and forth, she
would stomp and say nothing made sense ever again, certainly
not the goddam trees

as, yes, she sometimes swore at them
when they downpoured seasonal reminders
and she was pretty sure it was bad
to swear on something as sacred as, say

for example, a lost child, or a labyrinth, space
she moon-walked, secured by sadness's cord, the space
inside her, holy, yes
holy she'd had to angrily tell herself to keep

from killing what kept her alive). No, if asked,
the November labyrinth wouldn't say it misses her
at all, but would say it patterns itself
after the trees' skeletal lace blessing,

waiting or hoping.



Lesley-Anne Bourne likes her some Hs.


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