on the brink of the slide

panorama of jagged boulders confronts me, jars me into denial
I don’t fathom that I’m passing through a graveyard
nor grieve the shattered bodies of whole families,
uprooted homes entombed by a landslide of limestone.

like an affliction, the mountain hovers incessantly over my shoulder
when I walk I can’t help but stare
as when a disfigured person boards a bus or train
cements the gaze of passengers
Turtle Mountain, a century ago, within span of a hundred seconds
– in geological time, a cleft second
defied its immutability, lost its face
its collapse fomented a gigantic scar
obscured by advent of the darkest season
cloud blankets its wound in snow
disperses, reveals its camouflaged predictability.

when Mars orbited so close
its crimson circumference so strikingly dissimilar
the pale luminescence of a crescent moon
starkly silhouetted your nakedness
and made a mockery of my reverence for your permanence.

~ Barbara Janusz

A graduate from the University of Alberta with Bachelors of Arts and Laws degrees, Barbara Janusz resides in the Crowsnest Pass, where she is engaged as a contributing writer for EnviroLine, The Business Publication for the Environmental Industry. Runner up winner of the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize in 2001, she has published essays, short stories and poetry in various literary journals, anthologies and magazines.

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