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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 32 page 12


Rucksack Elegy

by Joel Robert Ferguson

Most things are left out and what isn’t
takes on its proper dimensions.

Essentials and irreplaceables only:
wool socks, trail mix, letters (love

or otherwise) formed into a cube
by gravity and canvas and fastened

to the torso. A seat while waiting, pillow
in highway-side underbrush come dark,

ready for most anything. Sturdy too,
when tossed from a freight train

slowly pulling into a railyard,
its fall gauging speed and safety

for its owner who waits to follow.
Laid over in unknown cities,

it stretches sufficiency just that
little bit further for the lived road

movie, the pastoral painting,
the clumsy joke of a saga.