River is full and sloshed and sidling up valley.
City, town and highway bend to water.
House has stood a century, sits on hill,
has crooked eyes and broken teeth.
Street slinks into deep.
Islands disappear, man by man.
Here is a paddle, a shovel, a hat, a belt buckle.
You decide who’ll be saved:
the men who pour concrete,
the hippos in the zoo,
the stuffed moose in your living room.
Adèle Barclay‘s writing has appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Puritan, PRISM, The Literary Review of Canada, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2016 Lit POP Award for Poetry and the 2016 Walrus Readers’ Choice Award for Poetry and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut poetry collection, If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You (Nightwood, 2016), recently won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award. She is the Interviews Editor at The Rusty Toque, a poetry ambassador for Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Rachel Rose, and the 2017 Critic-in-Residence for Canadian Women in Literary Arts.