Is there time for a small poem just now,
amid the numb or frenzied packing, the voices sounding
last-call? If so, here's one. You and I
speeding down off the Barrie snow plains
back to Toronto, cresting one of those long familiar hills
you said, "The sprawl," and then I saw it:
a vast fretwork of lights shimmering
to the horizon, unfurling
an umbrella of glow in miles of milky haze.
A city. Our city. It spelled us
with its intricacy, blithe power and extent,
and to think, we gushed in our speeding
black capsule down again, not even the smallest of the gleams
not planned, manufactured, installed and kept lit
by someone. We drove under that aura,
blinking up at it like mice at the Milky Way,
but Russian-dolled inside our awe
was the fact that "the sprawl," the phrase itself,
came from a novel we'd both read and loved.
invoked a galaxy behind the rock, a sprawl inside the sprawl.