The Maynard
Spring 2015

Rob Taylor

Twenty-Five Weeks

Today a new poll: Vancouver is the least happy city in Canada!

In The Book I learn to “Crack the Crying Code” until I am late

for my Kitsilano dinner date with your mother. The steeple

at 8th and Maple is lined with long thin spears


so the seagull has nowhere to stand but atop the cross.

“I’m hungry” is low and weak. “I’m sick” is sudden, panicked

and long. At 6th, the stretch where CP Rail tore up community gardens

to survey, a few tulips climbing up around the tracks nonetheless.


“I’m bored” starts as coos then turns to fussing. At 4th, the Mexican

place filled with families overpaying for the early meal. At 2nd, a tiny

apartment we once balked at and a woman in a tube dress hanging

her bird feeder. Vancouver in the spring sun is a downhill walk.


Some nights, with the newly reopened window, I wake

to the sound of a woman’s heels against sidewalk four stories

below and am not sure if the sound is coming from inside me

until it has grown loud and then faded back out of range.


At York, rhododendrons. At Creelman, lilies and a man in a yellow shirt smoking.

Seismologists say 13,000 will die in the earthquake they’re certain will break

in your lifetime. At Whyte, the remnants of a garage sale in a cardboard box marked “Free”.

At Ogden, the ninth straight telephone pole stapled with ads for a comedy show.


There’s a whole section in the back of The Book about injuries.

If we sever your arm I’m to control the bleeding, clean the wound

and apply pressure. I’m to loosen your clothing in case you’re in shock.

I’m to wrap the arm in a cloth and pack it in ice.


“I’m uncomfortable” is whiny, nasal and continuous. “I’m in pain”

is loud, panicked and long—until the baby is breathless.

I apologise, your mother forgives and hands me a sandwich.

I sit on the blanket she packed before leaving for work.


We strategize, then sleep with our heads on each other’s knees,

you between us in the sand, until we wake to the cool of the sun

dipping into the ocean and the clicks of tourists’ cameras, seemingly

everywhere. For some people, you see, the sun goes other places.