Fair Ground, by Kirsten Peterson

There is a little iron in the stripes
of a Dretske’s zebra
cribbing on white fenceposts.

Ever the absentminded catalyst,
it blows crocodile kisses
past the impartial observer
killing horseflies
beside the Tilt-A-Whirl.

Grandfather constructs out of sugar cubes
and a peppercorn
a function of W.’s truth-concept.
Fly-spotted, he admits –
this is a Muskoka summer
pulled out of a magician’s ball-cap.
A smuggler’s tunnel through the moon.

He says:

Here is and here is and here is a bit of sweetness
and here there is not.
A constellation of points yields
a black spot
and defines the extension of truth.
It is a dimming Ace of Spades,
undisturbed by the orbit of scarred fingertips.

Elsewhere, Grandmother
stands by.
The teacups derive a millstone fortune.
Children are a little sick
on technicolour
and dropped ice-creams.

In her pocket there is
a possible world –
another milk-white unicorn
balanced on the surface of a dark lake –
and two extra napkins.


Kirsten Peterson is the second place winner in the 2015 running of the HHLLC poetry contest.