Local Edmonton poet, Michael Gravel, offers this gem about people we’ve all observed. Those dissembled beings who owe their other-worldlyness to some kind of inner or environmental slippage. But then, slippage is a perspective.


A man at the front of the bus
is talking to himself.
Not just muttering,
as some do,
but having a good discussion.
He does not look crazy,
well-dressed in fact.
He rags on his wife.
His lamentable youth.
His last stand at last call.
He raises his voice a bit.
His hands gesture to someone.
He is ignored by all
(all noses in other business).
The city lights trail and
the route drags on.
He pulls the cord and talks some more.
His jaw waggles to the street
and the bus pulls away.
For a moment, in the city dark,
I see him,
index finger to lips,
shushing and walking,
speaking truth
only when nobody listens.

© — Michael Gravel

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