From the Archive: Matthew Walsh (CAROUSEL 33)

Staff/ November 18, 2020/ Poem


Scenes of a Sunday Dinner on Musquodobit Road

They got the meat and pataytas, so all’s right wit the world.
Even them cans a vegetables are smilin’. Father’s comin’ up
from the harbour, he was wit the boys steamin’

them laubsters in the microwave on the back
a Reed’s truck. Salt water sweetens em just fine.
That rural rum went to his eyes, right red they were,
just beamin’, but he’s temptin purgatory, comin’ through her door
like that, cyclops slow. Sitting down by the black rotary,
crooning Elvis’s Blue Hawaii with the old days migratory
in his mind.

Ain’t it better though to have em home, not all over hell
and creation even if it’s like he walked the sea floor like Billy Bollong
in that old song. It’s just linoleum, my god
and’ll dry before long.

Between church and cards a woman smiles always
like a museum curator as if their dinner plates couldn’t
be, I ‘magine.

A daughter’s eyes berried
while her mother disappears to the adjoining room
to apply some foundation.

Throw the bones to the things in the bushes
that stir the world balsam. Heavy june
bugs come out of the ground to play a song on the storm
door, some grassy little song the roots whispered to them

The daughter taps her foot cutting
cake what looks like a football all dressed up. Father drips
a nip in his cup, drinking the stillness over tea, ears stretched
for the sound of footfalls, of the uncles who’d swarm

the kitchen wit their strings and keys tellin’ his wife
that her boiled icin’ came out right spectacular
and smooth as you please while she’s unfolding
the card table again
in the grey cream of smoke.

Matthew Walsh is a queer poet who hails from the eastern shore of Nova Scotia and has twice travelled by bus across Canada. Their poems may be found in the Malahat Review, Arc, Existere, Matrix and Geist. Their debut poetry collection, these are not the potatoes of my youth, was published by Goose Land Editions in 2019. Walsh now lives in Toronto. More: here

Scenes of a Sunday Dinner on Musquodobit Road
appeared in CAROUSEL 33 (2014) — buy it here

Share this Post