And here, it’s the gulls in their urban white,
Starlings on rusted lamp posts,
The occasional small hawk careening & harassed, mildly,
By a minor clutch of crows.
And here it’s still the tugs, dark diesel stacks rising
Above a froth of wet over the long raw booms.
But here the water is wider and historically compassed,
Here are the bisections of bridges and the timed surge
As trains crest the tracks in tandem, one
Chunnering into the tunnel, the other becoming
A red light, vanishing. Here is where there is no
Shipyard or blue house or ruined beach or hummingbird
Where there is not the first grief of you gone
And I straying by the shoreline wondering if I would live
Where I am is more distant from the salt
In the pioneer segment of the Fraser
Where people settled early and set up their hopes:
The manses, the schools, the churches, the jail
All referencing this system called river, river
That I have chosen, written as home & going further.