Perfectly Sad
by Tricia McCallum

The swing set across the road creaks and sways
This January morning.
It paints the perfect picture of sadness,
A textbook definition for anyone to see.
As if in collusion with the light and wind
It sits there in stark detail against the bleak horizon,
Snow collecting in its rusted joints.

The for sale sign on the neglected lawn,
The gargantuan uprooted tree by the river
Hanging on by its sinewy tortured roots,
They too know.
The man alone in the coffee shop
Reading yet not reading,
The woman at the bus stop in the cold,
Her broken shoes,
Her cheap handbag held hard against her heart,
Shaking her head,
No, no, no.

A Glasgow-born Canadian, Tricia McCallum is the author of a sequence of poems, essays and photos entitled “Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Mother and Father Remembered.” (2011).

Her short stories and poetry have appeared in various literary journals and have won contests, been anthologized in collections and appeared in newsstand magazines. Her poem “Thirst” was recently voted the winner by readers in the monthly competition.

Of her diverse, if unpredictable, career, Tricia says: “Poetry is my absolute passion, my life raft really. Meanwhile, for a living, I’ve written about everything from life insurance fraud and spark plugs to employment equity and Quonset huts. Think there’s a connection there somewhere?”

Says Tricia, “I’ve always simply loved to write. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Tricia invites you to read more of her work at