I find a pacifier on the asphalt,
nearly step on it, pastel mouth-stopper,
bulbous plug. Alien in shape
but not streamlined.
The colour of bubble gum
not yet trodden on.
My thighs, pale in wrinkled shorts,
are too root vegetable, pulpy,
solid. All around me
everything’s showing off.
The breeze participates. The flowers,
such prima donnas, swirl like second
graders in first communion dresses.
A neighbour drags a wood-backed chair
out to the driveway, suns herself,
propping her legs along a cement barrier.
Her hair’s pulled in a bun, toes pointing
to avoid an awkward tan.
A lazy ballerina, like us
she has no balcony or backyard,
but she makes do.
Our streets are full of friendly cats.
I pet them, unafraid of domesticated teeth,
of fleas, of being followed home.
One with peachy cheeks, a white chin,
half-grown and gangly, sprawls on the sidewalk,
reveals a softness. Spring,
nothing but soft, desperate bellies.
Claire Kelly’s first poetry chapbook, Ur-Moth, was published by Frog Hollow Press in 2014. Her first book, Maunder, will be available from Palimpsest Press in Spring 2017. Recently, one of her poems came in second place in Prairie Fire’s Bliss Carman Poetry Contest and another poem honourably mentioned in the CV2 Young Buck Competition. She currently calls Edmonton home.