This is the meaning of hedgerows, to divert us
from Googlemap’s suggested routes. They are kept,
and keep us, in good order, and are well-stocked
with nectar and hawthorn. It’s my intention to be
replenished, though I’m limited by what can be toted
from beneath the archways back to my temporary
situation. My mind is gridded and North American,
not so much easily side-tracked as plotted. It follows
up on recommendations. It doesn’t stumble across
the ropewalk or repurposed customs so much
as it’s drawn in along roads stymied as rivers,
where coifed servant-girls passed under St. Saviour’s,
passed under sun-embossed stalls towards the report
of hawkers broadcasting sticky, glazed wares,
studded with sultanas. A half dozen for tomorrow’s tea.
Because none of us can help ourselves to quality
and provenance, hands make change, the quick caper
of pounds and pence. Cheers. Won’t you stay for another
pint of bitter, a mouthful of smoke and sour,
come on then, lovely, you’re not going anywhere.
Phoebe Wang is a poet and educator based in Toronto. Her debut collection of poetry, Admission Requirements, appeared with McClelland and Stewart in 2017. She is also the author of two chapbooks and she was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2015 PRISM international poetry contest. Visit alittleprint.com for more of her work.