Silent Totem

by Sidney Bending and Michael Dylan Welch

First published in Presence #73, July 2022, page 74. Originally written 2 April 2017 at the QV Café & Bakery in Victoria, British Columbia, over Nanaimo bars, with later revisions by email.

downtown Victoria . . .

lamppost flower baskets

only on the postcards Sidney

tourists ignoring

the Emily Carr bronze Michael

seaplane takeoff—

my soundproof window

not so soundproof Sidney

tea too dear

at the Empress Hotel—

cherries in bloom Michael

the seal leading a ferry

through an oil slick Sidney

silent totem—

the legislative building

lit for the night Michael