Morning In The Vintage Dome Car Near Restigouche, Four Days Before Christmas
(Temp – 20 C)
You think it’s easy living in a country that looks like a Christmas card?
Look at it out there! It’s a prog-rock theme park. A bling-scape –
fairest of the fair. The forest twinkles and hoars. The white stubbled fields
are airbrushed and the rivers, slabbed and snaggled with pack ice,
with unpack ice – the rivers are hewn from a Patagonia ad
(this logo/centric land)
of opportunity, every fallen tree gets revised as a Yule log. Rises.
A codger in a red plaid jacket, axe raised (dog yipping giddy nearby)
surely waits, mid-chop, beyond the next trestle, around the bend.
A winter scene must have its codger!
And this dome car – go figure –
I thought these wonders of modern travel
had retired way back when, hung up their sturdy, convex panes
for good. For all I know, I rode this very dome as a girl
west to my Alberta waitress job. Rode it with other
young hopefuls singing Four Strong Winds
far into the night, the stars so close they grazed the very glass
above our heads. We also knew all the words to the Railroad Trilogy.
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real.
Christ, what a mass of time.
Now I dome it east as a woman, my life like any life,
an anthem of antitheses. I ride it to Christmas,
to home and hell’s bells, in this country, getting home
is nothing if not
a full-time job. Cut to
two days earlier, miles of track back:
while he told me I was history he plucked a Clementine
from somewhere inside his parka,
pressed its small, pebbled, slightly flattened globe
into my hand, saying, ‘Clementines are best at Christmas’.
It is Christmas. Every heartbreak scene must have its Clementine
O my darling and him with such impeccable parting manners.
We can never live up to these scenes.
Published On: December 25, 2008
Permanent Location: http://www.forgetmagazine.com/081225.htm