The Last Load

Back break legs strained shut the car door this is it / the last load the last box wedged between potted plants and black metal cd racks / close the screen door lock the patio turn out the lights / keys in the ignition storm clouds roll / the short drive to a new home sweat growing thick on my arms / now stiff now flat out lying in a new bed with the window draft cool in our lungs and then she remembers the box of hand-made pottery above the stove.

shopping carts
rattle in the alley—
damp midnight

~ Patrick M. Pilarski

Patrick M. Pilarski is the co-editor of DailyHaiku—an international journal of contemporary English-language haiku. His first full collection, Huge Blue, was released in September 2009 by Leaf Press, and he is the author of one chapbook, Five Weeks. Patrick’s work has appeared and is forthcoming in journals and anthologies across North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, recently including PRISM International, The Antigonish Review, the Literary Review of Canada, Carousel, and The New Quarterly. He lives in Edmonton, Canada, with his partner, poet Nicole Pakan.

“To me, ‘home’ is a rooting point, a place we fix to and branch out from. As in nature, it’s possible to have more than one set of roots—some at the spot where you first broke soil and some in runners that creep out across the dirt to take hold far from their source.”

Read more of Patrick M. Pilarski’s poetry:
Starting Over
so dark
short arc

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.

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