Vanishing We glided on skates in a semi-circle, hands interlocked. Cackled like Canadian geese in a vortex of wind. When we spoke, the wind shredded our words. We chased the beaver into an untrammelled field where the jack pines tapered off into twilight. The snow uniformly swept the ice as though the lake was not always cracking, as though a voice was not breaking. Something like a fist emerged from four walls encircling the mosaic of our skin. In midwinter, Mother had arrived in Thunder Bay with a plaid skirt, a suitcase of dried flowers, a marriage certificate and an urn filled with ashes. Words rustled like splayed-open husks hanging from the catalpa. The incision of the wind, conglomerates of drift meeting drift. Remember when the electricity went out and Father's fingertip curled like a purple tendril under the earth, dead to everything but the clacking tendon locked to the trunk? Smoke tumbling out of a chimney. That night, we argued about a point of history, cheeks bitten by a frenzy of cold as we listened to the wind listening back.
Asher Ghaffar's first book of poetry, Wasps in a Golden Dream Hum a Strange Music (ECW Press, 2008), contains this poem. He is currently reading: a(A)ugust by Akilah Oliver, Animate, Inanimate Aims by Brenda Iijima and At Home in the World: Cosmopolitanism Now by Timothy Brennan.