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An advent calendar of poetry: December 5

Halifax poet laureate Sue Goyette delivers her fifth daily poem between now and Winter Solstice.


Editor's Note: Each day from December 1 -21, Halifax' poet laureate Sue Goyette will write a new poem to share with the city on The Coast's website and social media. "If I need this, I bet other people need this," she told us on day one—and we think she's right. In a year that's felt like a months-long dusk, this will be some light we can carry forward, together, until the days begin to grow again.
Here is her poem for December 5:

When did the word exhaustion get an accordion middle? When did the sinkhole appear in its ‘exhaust’? The bellows in its ‘tion’? There is a different time zone in the middle of it now, a lower season that wasn’t there before. A campground in the forest of ‘exhaust’ that we emerge from days later bewildered and with twigs in our hair. Am I the only one fearing small talk? I’ve got stones in my pocket not for the river but for the fire. That we’ll sit around. In the future. To share our adventures of exhaustion. How corners became upholstered with dust. How we grew fur and heard the greening of our plants. I have a cat who has never seen me do anything but sit at a screen all day. He is concerned and verbs and vogues to get my attention. ‘Hand-grab, feeder’, he calls me, ‘trust me, it will only drive you crazy’, he says. ‘They have things that propel them aloft to the clouds while leaving a bacon trail of delectability. I’ve lost days watching them. Leave the window and come to the floor’, he says, ‘it is the only way to wile these hours’.

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