It was the same life, more or less,
yet suddenly a flight itinerary represented
the most tangible indication of my fate.
From the air I saw mountains, forest,
lakes in which dissolved the notion
of ownership, and the sweet little Beechcraft
wagged its tail on landing
in a crosswind. My fellow passengers
claimed their long guns, carried them in cases
like guitars out of the terminal.
Darkness accompanied the second segment,
the Dash 8 traversing the southwest
in high cloud and swinging out over
the Atlantic. Lights might have been
ships, or islands, towns someone
from there could identify. But I wasn't from there.
Where land ended
and the water began was indiscernible,
though I was not afraid. Because I didn't know
what I was seeing.
Karen Solie is the 2015 winner of the Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize,a $25,000 award presented to a mid-career poet in recognition of aremarkable body of work and in anticipation of future contributionsto Canadian poetry.
Man Is a Rational Animal is taken from The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out, copyright © 2015 by Karen Solie. Reproduced with permission from House of Anansi Press, Toronto.