Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Spilled Milk

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Spilled Milk

Article excerpt

apology to a daughter, 30 years late

The train heaved out of Toronto Station. Together

We headed for subarctic lakes to visit your brother

At camp, your older and only sibling then.

I dreamed of northern air as our coach careened

Past clinkers, barrels, filthy railway sheds,

Ugly as you were lovely. I ordered a spread

Of lunchtime stuff, with for me some coffee, a glass

Of milk for you. A dozen miles would pass

Before you took a drink. You had a habit,

Almost willful, it seemed, of spilling whatever

You drank, and must have been afraid-oh damn it-

To reach for your glass while the club car swayed and quivered.

As for me, distracted, I was fixed

On the winking waters we'd find upstream from the mess

Of milky river at trackside. …

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