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Poetry by REN PIKE
At the heart of everything there is rebar
Steadfast, it labors. Holding the world
together. Not brash and self-serving,
more quiet–I got this. It's undeniable. Set
in its ways. Inflexible. It waits for you
to come to it. Only stabbing you in the foot
or the calf if you've wandered knee-deep
in murky waters or construction hells.
It's kind of reassuring how it shows no bias.
Upholding all sorts of supremely lovely
and also–let's be honest–shit architecture
that should never have been built, was
opposed by the community but constructed
anyway, because some rich dumbbell wanted
to make an obscene profit. That's how rebar rolls.
Kind of wobbly and heavy. Unattractive yet
essential. Ready. With a rough and crusty exterior.
Tending to erode if exposed. Totally built
to be buried. Uplifting. It promises to persist.
To re-emerge. It counts on the drip drip drip of history
to eat away at its cement-ary goodness.
Until its steely fingers can reach into your
streams and reservoirs. Catching your discarded
tires. Making whirlpools of your cages.
Romantic tale of chivalry
I was walking down by the river
near where that girl was
dragged from her path
left for dead did die
it's a beautiful spot
with the cottonwoods
sweeping their branches
trunks tilting out over the water
mature trees no doubt
start out straight and narrow
then time and events
happen keep happening
winter ice heaves
spring floods surge
carrying away rocks
eroding soil banks collapse
tearing out entire root systems
over and over
every year things shift
when they found her she was lying on her side
naked in the new growth
thin upright branches sprouting near the tree base
sent up as a call for help arborists say
when conditions aren't right
suckers are a sign of environmental stress
often seen in urban hell strips
the river path is rife
it rained that night but nothing reached her
investigators said sheltering greenery preserves evidence
which they carefully collected and transported
catalogued and crosschecked not that it helped
the men who assaulted her those guys are long gone
and likely still around
the path is well maintained for rapid commuting
to and from work
Ren Pike is originally from Newfoundland. Through sheer luck, she was born into family who understood the exceptional value of a library card. She has completed physics, computer science and education degrees, as well as a poetry course or two. She's worked at a variety of jobs, in a bazillion different places. Remote and urban. Foreign and domestic. Right now, she's helping community-minded non-profits wring meaning from data in Calgary, Canada. She writes, whenever possible. Her work has been published in Antilang and Gyroscope Review. She can be found on Twitter @sputta.
Be sure to check out this exclusive interview with Ren on the Orson’s Publishing blog.