© Christopher Raine


L’Aéroports de Montréal

Staring out of windows  
at L’Aéroports de Montréal
snow skiffs across the tarmac 
a grey fog paints the sky 
distances recede into obscurity 
carpet tiles are frayed and lifting 
I hear a vacuum sucking, 
whining in that high-pitched, 
mechanical scream 
as a maintenance worker labours 
you can feel the sound in your teeth 
the rattle of debris chiming 
through the ribbed hose 
I’ve got hours to kill, 
not enough for a meaningful venture 
beyond this stale prison 
I over-hear a business conversation 
from a stranger’s cell phone 
louder and more clearly 
than muffled airport announcements 
outside these smeared windows 
a turboprop sits at gate two 

Time is relative 
Time can be unwanted and slow 
Time can heal wounds 

I remember that an old love of mine 
lives here, in Montréal, 
somewhere, I don’t know exactly, 
after all it’s been thirty six years 
I knew then, 
as a boy of some fifteen years, 
that I was in love 
that I loved her 
with everything I had, 
everything I was 
and when she left, 
she told me 
with the sage wisdom 

of mere months, 
that I did not understand love 
that it was infatuation 
nothing more 
As we waited for the plane

that would take her from me
we hugged and kissed 
and cried together for the last time 
now here I am, 
so far away from that moment, 
staring out from the window of the airport 
that once brought you to me 
I look at the unmoving-grey stillness, 
where the dull sky meets pale ice 
and February snow 
I long to know, where you are now? 
How your life turned out? 
I wanted to tell you 
that you were wrong