“Plus Ten” By Jeremy Nathan Marks


Plus Ten

Tonight fish
perch, whitefish, bass
even smelts
occupy spacious shore houses
while children bed down below ground
in clay beds said to hatch prodigious numbers
of tadpoles.

It is February
and the coyotes take the old swimming hole
and pretend it is Christmas Day in Australia.

Our hemispheres are flipped.

The river fills with ice.
Then it thaws.
It goes and floods in ways farmers say
it never used to.
Rain. Snow. Rain again.
The coyotes now go hunting in packs with dogs
and give the bum’s rush to gun enthusiasts at a Valentine’s Day sale.

Here in town we all sing
‘The Good Old Hockey Game’
as though pucks survive the winter wet
and jive with industrial sized climate controllers.

They do. Digitally.

Out in the muck I haven’t met a single bear that didn’t share
my exasperation at the tartness of mushed berries
or the way some satellite ref keeps moving the goal line.

Robins dine on February worms.
Crocuses laugh at snowdrops come out to see what’s up
and go down broke backed.

Ice again. Wait a day. It will be plus 10.


About the Author: Jeremy Nathan Marks is a London, Ontario-based writer. Recent poetry appears/is appearing in Unlikely Stories, Writers Resist, Poets Reading The News, KYSO Flash, Poetry Pacific, Rat’s As Review, The Wire’s Dream, NRM Magazine, Cajun Mutt Press, Eunoia Review, The Conclusion Magazine, Bravearts, and Runcible Spoon. His short story, “Detroit 2099,” will appear in The Nature of Cities Anthology later this year.


Image Credit: “Chûte du Niagara” Unknown Photographer (1860s-1880s) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

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