Late Year’s Study

salt and snow
on the streets
in doorways
their breath their stance
sometimes memory
warmer with reasons
only they know
how many summers how
many friends a breeze over
grass went on for hours
a smile a song
months before January
we we are as good
as that

~ Stuart Ian McKay

Stuart Ian McKay is a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta and the League of Canadian Poets. Stele of Several Ladies, a long poem, his first book, was published in 2005. McKay lives in Calgary where he is working on his second book, a cognate of prayer, a series of long poems about people with disabilities.

“I’ve never understood the desire to live nomadically. Knowing a place well enough to love and write about it is pure joy. I suspect our culture’s addiction to novelty and the fast pace values the cursory glance over the long, lingering stare. ‘late year’s study’ is the result of sitting in the same spot on Stephen Avenue many times. Calgary, in all its forms and seasons, passes by me there. I know it, that’s all. I simply know it.”

Read more of Stuart Ian McKay’s poetry:
Weaselhead Variations

Editor’s note: This poem is from Home and Away – a sequel to the bestselling Writing the Land (2007). Look for one poet to be featured each day as Alberta poets ponder the question “what is home?” and explore our complex relationship with working on, living with, exploiting and protecting our land and our home. For more information about the project, click here.

Leave a Reply