Three Poems by Shane Schick


After The Bath

The water and my daughter’s hair cling to each other
like star-crossed lovers, trying to ignore the
wagging, chastising finger of the blowdryer
with which I try to pull them apart forever.

But they hang down her small, pale back
with the carefree comfort of legs dangling
over the side of a dock on an August afternoon,
softly swinging to explore the expanse of their freedom.

And a few minutes later she’ll ask me,
in response to another “I love you,”
whether I love her with all my soul,
and where the soul sits in our bodies,

staring at me, her nakedness suggesting
nothing but the unadorned truth will suffice.
And I look at the tiara of damp spots I missed
that crown her miraculous, serious face

and I offer an analogy to the Holy Spirit —
describing an impossible geography 
of everywhere within us, and in evidence 
in absolutely everything we do,

watching gusts of heat behind her eyes
make contact with tiny droplets of ideas
until they’ve been absorbed, and I wonder 
what else might have just been toweled off. 

National Interest

The soccer field sits empty, apart from the aphids
who have rendezvoused near one of the goal posts,

appearing to retrace all the plays that should have been made,
like coaches fighting over the same blackboard.

Or perhaps, given the warm farewell of late afternoon sun,
this is a poor attempt at networking with each other,

where rudeness is overridden by a fear someone more interesting
might be the first to wrinkle their nose and call it a day.

Instead of a swarm I’m swatting away from my face,
for the first time I see a society, creating an agora above the grass,

and I approach as an emissary, on a diplomatic mission
to appreciate and bring back with me the secrets

of living in a culture of absolute freedom of movement,
of equality so obvious it needs no laws or enforcement,

where I’m content to stand at a remove from the throng,
at some point from the border between this country and mine.

Mountain Forms

A shuttle bus ride from the Calgary airport
is as good an introduction as any,
especially when it’s made
by a bright Tuesday afternoon sun
that glows across the snowy peaks
as though it were lavishing praise,
but awe makes it unnecessary:

I had thought Lawren Harris
had prepared me — that painting
I’d once admired, but now recall
like I’d watched an animated movie,
and am finally reading the book
that it was based upon,
discovering all that was left out

Here are the limits of ambition writ large:
simulacra of summits I’ll never reach,
but also the permanence of possibilities,
and a choice to scramble and scale,
or simply to sit at the base in wonder,
admitting that even on the plane
I’d never been in the same league
as those clouds, as intimate with skies

And my body settles into a certainty,
a mimicking of the unmovable,
the bus bringing me a bit closer
to what remains so far away,
where a smile is the only answer
to the ultimately unknowable questions
everything around me is asking


Shane Schick has had poetry published in Shrapnel Magazine, Neologism Poetry Journal, Grand Little Things and Fully Lit, among others. He is the founder of and provides content marketing services. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three children. More: 


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