In 2013 I wrote a poem that I’ve made a few changes to this year. Among the additions, I’ve changed the reference to passing years to bring it up to date. The setting for the poem that I see in my mind’s eye is a place my husband and I visited in Cypress Hills Park in Saskatchewan in 2011. Here’s a photo I took of the scene. And following the poem is a work in progress relating to it–a collage I’m making from parts of old wood and linoleum cuts. I’ll post the finished piece later on.
The Day of the Angel It’s the day of the angel. When I come upon him he’s not fluttering about, he’s landed in the meadow where he walks toward the small conifers that have taken root in the centre. I’m on the trail above the clearing. As usual, I’m photographing the land so when he turns to me I take his picture too. I’m not sure what the etiquette is for photographing angels but he doesn’t seem to mind. He flies over to me with a doe in his arms who bolts into the forest once released. We look at the displayed image on my camera (I’d wondered if angels leave visible after traces and it seems they do) his morpho blue wings show up particularly well. We don’t have much to say to one another. Other than the odd stuttering, I am unable to speak and the only sounds he makes are low pitched hums. We walk together under lodge pole pines and he gestures that he wants to hold the camera. I hand it to him and show him how to use it. He photographs things I hadn’t seen— bows of light, wings previously invisible above the meadow and one of me— before he walks into the forest where the trees obscure him. Later I look at the image he took of me it’s a flattering one, my often frozen nervousness not apparent. Behind me the doe he’s carried is just visible, peering out from the trees. It’s a week before Christmas. 60 years ago my heart was operated on. As that chilling anniversary comes calling any help from spirits, dreams and the imagination is most welcome shifting my attention from fear and pain to the luminous here in my quiet workroom above the city as my days fall to earth in the waning light of the sun. Lily S. May, December 2013-2021