Poem: Sunday Afternoon Croquet

Hear this poem read by its author, Nyla Matuk: [audio:issuetwo/nyla.mp3]

Sunday Afternoon Croquet

Trinity Bellwoods Park

I feel like a mad Roman emperor with a history of failures

at miniature golf. I’ll play at being truly imperious,

a Pimm’s-sipping sundowner

in a striped sweater with the entitlement to be that individual,

who can dismiss Torremolinos and

cruise the radio dial for swing jazz.

I celebrate Dominion Day, and say old bean.


I’ll bend forward, a gauche hobby farmer,

elphin green deviant bitchy lady,

aiming for tiny stations of the cross as the

Portuguese masquerade a masque

of pascal ecstasies and triumphs somewhere else in the park.


Street dust settles onto the terra cognita. A wino

sleeps on a nearby bench

while Pomeranians hunch and haw as bronco machines

to please their four-foot mistresses.

(Petit-four disciplinarians in pink and white,

they squawk orders at dads who coo over teenaged tails

strutting at the Strachan gates).


The game obeys its ophidian creed, and my ball’s jilted overseas

the way a woman rejects a player…


And afternoon blooms with the flat oak tock between conversations,

tock-ing of mallets, as dumb and smiling as flamingo beaks

applied to obliging hedgehogs.


Expect vindication from the colonial bourgeoisie,

heading up the rear,

while streetcars wax on in whale notes.