This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

November-December 2011

Great Canadian Literary Hunt 2011: “Long Week” by Anna Keefe

Anna Keefe

We’re posting the winners of the 2011 Great Canadian Literary Hunt all this week. Read the other finalists here, and follow or friend us to stay up to date on 2012’s contest!


Evening is a wet map torn in the folds
A bowl of sand into which you place your hands

Evening is an accordion on a child, a road in the desert
A dark hallway of lockers and uneven floors

Evening is deep sounds, car doors
Water in the pipes
Kitchenettes and closets
Laying out ties on the table in the shape of a wheel
And feeling around for tomorrow


Evening is a torn drum, a closed mouth
A box taped up

Evening is a clamshell, a shawl
A shallow dive

Evening is a folded tablecloth, a heavy gold earring
Moths and motionless trees
Hearing snow plows grating at the curb
Hugging only your knees


Evening is hot coals for eyes,
Mouse haste, vice-grips, chapped lips
Socket wrench on the basement floor

Evening is the shocked shape of a face in the wind
A landslide, a lock, a trance

Evening is a banging on the door, grinding gears of the heart
Mirrors in the dark
Twisting the screws just to take things apart


Evening is a stretching panther, a collection of earth from elsewhere
Catching a train, flowers in your hair
Evening is a quick breath, a stolen cheque
Click of heels in an elevator

Evening is an orange swallowed whole, a flag pulling at the pole
A cold hand, a clear eye, a deer hide
A cake balanced across two plates


Evening is a doorstop, a window propped
A ladder leaning against a tree

Evening is a hand of cards dealt
Face down and sliding
A tarmac, a loose strap, a cold latch
Old letters stuck closed with sealing wax

Evening is flour on the counter top, scissors on the table
Turning your back on the water
To make it boil hotter


Evening is popcorn on the stovetop
Evening is moving and still
A riptide, a hand haling a cab
A wagon let loose on a hill

Evening is a balcony, a bear, a bird in the snow
Evening is money on the mind
A magazine cutting itself to pieces

Evening is a gossip, a mouth, a note and a bathroom wall
Evening is a bad influence
It knows you want to and it will
Take you into the steam of the engine
Onto the platform of another’s dream


Evening is a ring of keys, an invitation and rolled up sleeves
A tightrope, a lit torch, a tongue

Evening is a phone call, a beach ball, swimming in the rain
Monkeys, mocha, applause

Evening is blinders on a white horse
City lights and open signs, fish skin in the sun
Saying there is nowhere else,
And nothing can ever make this music come undone

Anna Keefe has a Bachelor’s of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies from the University of New Brunswick and a Master’s in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is thankful to all the people of the world who make it irresistible to write about. This is her first poetry publication.
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