The Prisoner’s Song

(With thanks to Wilf Carter.)

Oh, please meet me tonight in the moonlight
Please meet me tonight all alone
For I have a sad story to tell you
It’s a story that’s never been told.

Last night Mother dreamed she was a girl again
riding Faretheewell across a mountain meadow.
Spruce as dark as ink edged the granite rockslide
and milk-green glacier pools spangled in an autumn sun.

No bridges crossed the river
and when Faretheewell flew from the edge
Mother held on for dear life.
Back along the river she said she could hear her sisters,
Minnie and May and Charlotte,
playing Uncle Joe’s auto harp
and singing songs of their childhood.
Singing about antelope and buffalo and movin’ on
and the wings of angels.

Oh, if I had the wings of an angel
Over these prison walls I would fly
I would fly to the arms of my sweetheart
And there I’d be willing to die.


(This poem was awarded an Honourable Mention in the Ontario Poetry Society 'Emerging from the Shadows' 2011 Contest and appeared in "Emerging Stars: A Contest Anthology")