by Robert Currie
"the boy who must've been me, and what relation
is he to the man leaning over the water a moment,
then slowly turning to shuffle along the paved walk
by this same river, the man shuffling
because his left knee is stitched with pain
when he hurries, the man having forgotten
till now that boy desperate to save all the fish
which the man knows were nothing but suckers."
What begins as a look back at a different time in history quickly takes a dark turn in Bob Currie's latest collection. Embodying a variety of characters, often in different voices – both those of well-known classic poets as well as the voices of Saskatchewan poets past and present – Currie ponders the collective human experience. With razor-sharp precision and telltale imagery, these poems explore domestic and public life: bad marriages, infidelity, poverty, gun violence, and in a final section, death – and how these experiences change (or don't) between one generation and the next.
Currie expertly combines seemingly innocuous poems – catching fish, discovering false breasts in a dresser – with more sinister and somber poems – murder, hiding from a gunman outside of a grocery store, bearing witness to the death of loved ones – with poignant candor.