Burial – A Poem and Image by Joshua Chris Bouchard


A path can always be drawn: I see it
beyond the fallen pine. A row of cedar

just above a broken knee of land. Winter
topples around me: a finger snap, moan,

binge-drinking moon. From a distance,
the hours arriving home approach detritus

and I’m laughing at the loss, pinching myself
in a dream. Chewed sinew of hinterland, crushed

ash of bone. You’ll be forgotten. The bruised shore
sips the lakes that keep it from thawing. This life

is one of them: memory, falling asleep alone
in a snow tunnel. Huddled to the wall, perfectly

warm. Shaded from cold, they saw I was missing—
gone, removed, malignant. That could be now

except for only familiar regret, the snap of tinder
and waiting: what if the snow buckled in? It takes

a step to make a footprint, a trail already laid.
The cardinals gawk at me, lean on sun-ridden

sky, cloudless, everything like glaciers. The road
flashes, catches into blindness, but to where?

Joshua Chris Bouchard’s collection of poetry and photographs, Let This Be the End of Me (Bad Books Press), was short-listed for the bpNichol Chapbook Award. He is the author of WOOL WATER (words(on)pages press) and Portraits (In/Words Press). His poetry is forthcoming in Echolocation, and has appeared in CarouselPoetry is Dead, PRISM international, carte blanche, Arc, The Puritan,and more. Bouchard was long-listed for a CBC Poetry Prize and was an honourable mention for the John Newlove Poetry Award and Blodwyn Memorial Prize. He edits BAD DOG @BadDogMag, an online poetry magazine. Twitter: @jcbouchard_

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