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an afternoon walk

My Morning Walk by Ernie Kroeger was published in 2009 by Small Cities Community-University Research Alliance, Thompson Rivers University & the Kamloops Museum and Archives.

My Morning Walk by Ernie Kroeger is a quiet gem of a bookwork. The kind that reminds me of how thoughtful a physical act of walking can be and how playful an intellectual act of thinking can be.

In early February I returned to this bookwork, reread it, then found myself going out for an afternoon walk and coming home to scribble out the beginnings of what would end up being a-kind-of-response-piece or in-conversation-piece with Ernie’s My Morning Walk. I finished working on an afternoon walk on the first day of spring (2017). The bits in quotation marks are actual bits quoted from Ernie’s bookwork.

Thank you Ernie, for the gift of your bookwork and for the always enriching conversations.

an afternoon walk
(with Ernie)

walking the ephemeral
and building a possibility of being “in two times
at the same place”
and here
through layers of February slush
that crushes doubting
and takes in a melting sound
(that inward small
sigh) that relies on letting go

with the scattered gathered
I return to reading and walk “a distinct line […]
made by the water”
a seam, a crease, a mental fold
that loosely takes hold, as you remind me
that “The first part of the trail is steep”

walking behind the past, towards “the red light”
I cut across the foreground
and lift up on my toes, as if this
will help me see unveiling time

with each step of my dusty shoes, I remember
how the grass crunched that morning
head down, while another was lowered
much further down
into dry earth

I wonder now about the distance of ceremonies
which “makes it relatively safe to cross
but even then …”
is here, here?

“Pulling myself away from the pictures,
I continue onward” past the rural cemetery
on the west side of a gravel road
there, an Imperial moat overlays
the Thompson and the Bow —
these rivers bend
with curves worn from centuries of leaning

You say, “I can hear the presses clanging
and scraping in their familiar rhythm
to get the day’s news out.”
I can’t hear the clanging
but I do hear a familiar sound
of scraping
as “… we exchange brief greetings”
and someone “asks: How come you’re so late
this morning?”

I reply, simply because
I felt like taking
an afternoon walk.

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