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Mrs Everywhere

You're not very tall, are you?

Gabrielle Taylor

I am normally given
to ask a lot of trivial questions,
like how the blind man
cuts his nails.

With each question
(this movie director? that talk show host?
this beer and that lime?)
I am sending out a sonar packet.
I am asking: Where are you?
It's a cowardly strategem
to build my charts,
like those practiced
by the girl with the glass of water
in the painting by Renoir.


What's it like for you?
Covered in bits of noise, maybe even reading this poem? Becoming aware
that this is about you, that as we talked,
I was mapping you, yes, you in particular? Is
each question now puncturing you
like the spines of a stripped umbrella?
Were you standing stargazing
at a green post-sunset sky
and suddenly aware
of a ball of detached light
falling on a long slow curve?

Maybe -- I wish that -- you knew,
while you walk around, around,
expanding your perimeter
satisfyingly familiar with
each place you put your foot.
I admire that discipline,
I just don't have it.

With each dot on my chart, I am saying
"I can turn back, I can always turn back"
and each step argues cumulatively for my return,
as each mark on a map shows the way home.
They accrue gravity, pulling me away
but I will keep walking toward you,
if you spin faster than my shoes.

Gabrielle Taylor is a writer, photographer and internet consultant in Ottawa. She operates Moon Farmer, with Shad Muegge, The Clean Shopper where she reviews organic products and writes about allergy, and the Hypercube Photo Gallery of Canada. She has an intellectual online game at Her machines are making her chipper.

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