You Can Never Go Back | Glen Sorestad

Within me still, the child that will not leave
would have me return to a little farmhouse
surrounded by thickets of aspen trees.

Who could deny there is idyllic charm,
inviting pastoral appeal in such a scene,
one to conjure memories, aching and warm,

a benchmark for other places I’ve been
to be measured against? What I do know
is that oddly tinted light by which I’ve seen

this place or that, how the wind will flow
across this hill and down, or how the sky
renews itself daily, there and there, just so.

The child in me always wonders why
return is not an option. No matter how I try,
each answer comes out sounding like a sigh.


Glen Sorestad is a Canadian poet who was been publishing his poems in many parts of the world over the past half-century. He is the author of over twenty books of poetry and his poems have appeared in over seventy anthologies and textbooks, as well as being translated into eight different languages. Sorestad lives in Saskatoon on the South Saskatchewan River.

Photo of Claude | Glen Sorestad

One evening, we took fishing rods to the banks
of the Valley River to sample what the river
might offer, fishing below the small weir
buttressing the spring melt. Our whim launched
us into an unexpected evening’s pike-fest,
one scrappy northern after another, an even dozen,
none very large, but all of them edible.

Claude, four years older, came from a small
French community south along the Rat River
to a summer as the town’s recreation director.
We boarded at the same place, but had known
each other only a few weeks. Claude played
baseball and coached the town’s team.

We toted the fish home, presented them proudly
to our landlady. While she seemed pleased
with our offering, she may well have feigned this,
since I cannot recall her actually serving it to us.
I left Grandview for good at month’s end.
Never saw or heard from Claude. Ever again.

But here, he grins a boyish exuberance,
a dashing young man, a talented athlete brimming
with the confidence of one who both expected
to win and showed how with grace and style.
A small slice of rediscovered past that triggers
an ache in me that is indefinable but real.

 


Writer’s Commentary

“Photo of Claude” is a memory poem where the narrator recalls a confident young man who was a part of his own youth. Claude had the kind of confidence in himself that comes from self-pride, something the narrator obviously admires.


Glen Sorestad is a Canadian poet who was been publishing his poems in many parts of the world over the past half-century. He is the author of over twenty books of poetry and his poems have appeared in over seventy anthologies and textbooks, as well as being translated into eight different languages. Sorestad lives in Saskatoon on the South Saskatchewan River.