Current Issue Excerpts


KEN VICTOR

To the Unborn
     Historians



The history of the present moment will be
written by you, much as we might want
to claim it for ourselves. One day our time
will call out to you and, like a birder in a thick
forest hearing a song thought long extinct,
you'll stop, listen, decide to linger awhile

to hear if the song has a story. We'll shift
from actors in our own lives - checking off
another task on the list, praising our children,
ensuring the paycheque will last the month -
to become your favourite subjects. We won't leave
much for you; paper gave way to zeros and ones,
culture to commerce. Unless you're willing

to dumpster-dive in our time, you'll likely
lose your way chronicling the folly of our fools.
As to us, here's hoping you'll find a clipping,
a shred, a bit of our cosmic dander to tease out
a plausible explanation. We know your telling
will be an earnest telling, well-meant and mostly

misguided. You want to surmise something
from our shards? Surmise this: we were like
everyone else. It was about food and shelter,
the hunt for some scraps of meaning. Whatever
you'll say about us, we would love to help
but you are out of earshot, and we are too far
        for shouting.

KEN VICTOR has been published in numerous journals in Canada and the United States. His poem "On the Coldest Night in Quebec," published in Queen's Quarterly 109/4, received a National Magazine Award. His first collection of poetry, We Were Like Everyone Else, will be published by Cormorant Books later this year.


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