Poetry Friday June 7, 2019

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Michelle Kogan. She is celebrating Tracy K. Smith, the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States. Prepare to be wowed by words and images as you head on over there to read some poetry and find links to other participants sharing poetry today.

I am continuing to work on poems about a pivotal time in 1958, when my family joined other relatives on an adventure into the Pine Valley region in Northern British Columbia. I'm committed to sharing a bit every week to keep me going. They might not be in any kind of order. I just hope to get some kind of drafts out there. I appreciate feedback on the construction of the poetry and ideas and questions about what information might be missing.

I had planned to write something about how the men were faring. I have something written, but picked up two new research books from the library on the history of logging in BC. In the meantime, here's one I've been working at off and on. 


Uncle Walter’s family
brought a cat and dog.
The cat kept the mice
under control.

The dog liked to
bark like crazy and
chase wild animals.

This one day
it chased a skunk
under their cabin.

Leslie grabbed the dog,
kept it away
while there was a palaver
bout what to do.

First, they waited,
but the darn creature
wouldn’t leave.

Conferencing commenced.

Somebody mentioned
they’d heard that
if a skunk dies
it won’t release any scent.

It was decided
to shoot the skunk’s
head off.

Howard got his shotgun.

Uncle Walter
shone a flashlight
under the cabin.

Howard aimed.

Each time
the beam hit it,
the skunk moved,

Just not out from under the cabin.

Finally the light shone
in the creatures eyes.

Howard got a clean shot,
blasted the skunk’s head off,


the rest of it exploded,
spraying the underside
of their residence
with scent.

The pungent perfume
permeated the place,
infiltrated everything.

Couldn’t get the stench out.

After a time,
someone came up with an idea
to move the cabin.

They got out the D9 cat,
cleared a new area,
pushed the building over
to the new spot
higher above the ground
so air could circulate.

Of course they
relocated the reek with them.

It didn’t matter how much
Aunty Margaret scrubbed their clothes.

Even if she could have
got that smell out,
once they returned to
the malodorous abode,
it returned.

The kids,
Marianne, Dorothy,
Leslie and Peter
had to travel ten miles
on the bus to school.

No wonder

they couldn’t make friends.
No wonder
nobody would have anything to do with them.

Couldn’t blame them.

Here are links to previous Pine Valley poems. 

Ready and Willing


Diaper Duty

1 comment:

  1. A friend recently had a skunk "release" while her windows were open. They fought the smell for a long time & finally it left. What a terrible thing that your family could rid themselves of that smell! Lessons here!