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Commodore Jarvis

Michael Redhill


Lakes too, bearing up the clumsy steamers,
cheap galleons filled with lumber, fish, wood
for caskets. 1875. The city seeped forward - this July
they found the Commodore Jarvis rotting under the expressway
tore up its ash and dust for a new stadium. On its last trip,
it put in at the Yonge Street Pier, unloaded
apples from New York state, trout from Vermont.
Then they invented basketball. Mackenzie King
vied for control of the city's new electrics.
Charlie Conacher and Busher Jackson walked up Church
in their overcoats, lost to Detroit, walked home.
After a few years, radios started to get smaller,
they tore down the tall red trade centre
at Front and Yonge. My grandfather was born
across the ocean and they named him Israel. That same year
a boy from Corktown fell through the ice.
Hockey on lake Ontario. He lies there now,
undiscovered, or else
is beneath the foundation of a downtown hotel,
buried under landfill, under progress. He might be
preserved like the silvered bog men they found
in Scotland, his skin tight across his bones
his ribs rounded under the leather coat like
streetcar tracks mounded with snow.


Michael Redhill's works copyright © to the author.


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