A Time for Every Purpose

by Lawrence Hopperton

Five years old with our shirts off
running through cornfields, calling
and coming across the rows until
someone was lifted up to see
the house, way over there. That way.

He was the young one.
He couldn’t keep up
with a pot on his head playing 
G.I. Joe and the dog on a run line 
in this afternoon sun in Jalna.

But we brought him fishing with us
the creek wasn’t too far down the dirt
road. We had garden worms and hooks
and laughing around the riverbanks
but we didn’t catch any fish. 

Remember me it’s only 
maybe 50 years? “Not until I looked
in your eyes. You came to see us ride 
horses, not far from the schoolhouse
You were bored. You wanted to ride.” 

My parents let me drive the station wagon
but only in the trailer park; only on the tracks.
They didn’t know where they all went
but I did. We went for a drive, parked 
and smoked like grown-ups.

At the end, the priest told a story:
See the lake through the trees?
It flows to Georgian Bay and Ptolley Bay
then Superior down the lakeslide
and St. Lawrence to the seas.

Paul is part of this promise
In good company with Leacock, de la Roche
a bit of innocence in this sunshine sketch
and I kissed them - kissed them for real. 
I never did that before. 

Lawrence Hopperton lives in Stouffville Ontario. His chapbook, Ptolley Bay, was published by Lyrical Myrical Press in 2013, and his first full collection, Table for Three, was published by En Route Books and Media in 2021. His next collection, Such Common Stories, will appear in late 2022.

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