Mount Royal Boulevard, 1966

This poem originally appeared in the journal In Parentheses Vol. 7, Issue 2, Fall 2021.

Mount Royal Boulevard, 1966

I will not take Mount Royal Boulevard.
Not since April third,
the rainy night at the tight curve
halfway down the road,
when the tires shrieked,
and the maple tree
cracked in half
from the force
of the red Ford Mustang.
The glass on the pavement,
the smoke rising
to meet the clouds in the sky,
the neon-green budding trees
like little flashing signs.
The knot of people gathering,
the ambulance screaming,
the still form lying
on the double yellow lines.
Two silvery-blue
policement on my front step,
hat holding, me wailing,
like the baby sleeping
upstairs. Remembering
the last look, the last hug,
the last kiss, knowing
I had said, “Go,
enjoy the party. Tell everyone
I said hello.”
Wishing I had kept
my mouth shut,
wishing I had begged
him to snub civility
for one more night of early dinner,
late TV, records for hours, diapers
and cans of beer in the trash.
Now the last of those nights has passed.
Now I drive a serpentine
route wherever I go,
because I refuse to take
Mount Royal Boulevard, that road
that made
a widow
out of

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