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Ursa Minor: Poetry inspired by real Northern news

“’The Pickers Have Moved on.’ 2016 Morel Season Quiet in the NWT.” CBC. July 13, 2016.

End of Season

everywhere you look

people have got

the Old Milwakee blues

the down-on-their-luck

Lucky Lagers

the cans

are piling up

but the cookshack

is coming down, the cook

stands in the shadow of an ATV

gutted out like a buck, the tie rods

are shot, smokes

a cigarette wedged between the swollen fingers

of his canola oil-burnt hands


so that’s it

it’s all over, now


last week

it started raining

now, it won’t stop, the rain

floods the holes in the cutblock, the trucks

get stuck, a whole season

of mud and shit, badly dug thunderboxes

there are no frogs, the frogs

are all dead

but you can hear the trucks all night long

spinning their tires, backfiring, flooding their engines, and their men

standing on the tailgate, howling

like coyotes moving in

cursing the bruised northern night

going nowhere

with nowhere to go


back at camp, the down-faced young men

march by the down-faced old men

who are drunk


like children into the beds of their pick ups

telling stories no one is listening to, the stories

are sad

all start off

this one season, this one time, this one woman

and all end up

but that’s all over, now

Photo: istockphoto/standret

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