The Road to Kenora

by Thomas R. Smith


T.R. Smith


This poem appears in Thomas R. Smith's latest book, The Dark Indigo Current
The Dark Indigo Current book cover
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Fifty miles above the border
I began to notice them,
five or six granite
rocks piled in roughly
human shapes every few
hundred feet. All afternoon
I'd pressed northward along
Lake of the Woods, and now,
months after the funeral,
felt unaccompanied by my
father for the first time.
I mourned the misty, pine-
crested islands he would
never see, as I steered over
gravel in the darkening rain.
In Clearwater, a Canadian friend
would name them: inukshuk,
mysteriously numerous here
of Ojibway land, far south
of their Inuit provenance.
But driving in the July rain,
I had no word for them,
though it seemed the reason
I drove was to give myself
into the keeping of these watchful
ones whom I imagined
the dead joining, who
wove a corridor of presence
through the forest solitude
even farther from my father's
grave. And mile by mile,
stone by stone, my heaviness
of heart was lifted to the road-
side and stacked with the griefs
of others who had passed this way.

       © 1997 by Thomas R. Smith

Hear MP3 WebCasts from a reading by Robert Bly and Thomas R. Smith, editor of the first United States anthology of Alden Nowlan's poems, When He Went to the Store for a Loaf of Bread.

Other Poems by Thomas R. Smith

This appeared in:
The Dark Indigo Current
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Affectionate Witness, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem, published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current, was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.

The Boy Who Crawled, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem, published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current, was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.

The Reply, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

The Road to Kenora, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

Admiring My Father, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

This appeared in:
Horse of Earth book cover
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My Father Promised Me a Sword, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem first appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

The Cruel One, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem first appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

Come In from the Rain!, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem originally appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

Late for Thanksgiving Dinner, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.


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