anne le dressay

The Dog at the Parade

is the most interested of all spectators,
more eager, more excited, more curious
than any child.

His whole body is alert, his ears pricked
as high as they can go, his eyes darting
to take in as much as he can.
He tugs at the leash held by a man too busy
talking to companions to notice
that his body blocks the dog’s view.

Everything is worth the dog’s attention:
the pony no bigger than he is, the clowns, the bikers,
the kids and balloons, the marching band,
the swinging kilts.

The dog takes in the parade
as if it’s a party just for him.
Curious. Insatiable. Eager.

The dog watches the parade.
(It’s not really much of a parade.)

I watch the dog.

View from the Back Window of the Coffeeshop

Red brick;
the vertical slats
of a grey wood balcony
topped by the horizontal cross-beam;
the black metal of a fire escape—

A geometric puzzle, a tangle
of angles partly hidden by a dapple
of shadow and light, sunlight through leaves—

No long view, the tangle framed by the walls
of surrounding buildings, cropped by an overhang—

A confusion the eye sorts out
the way fingers untangle
a knot—

Success a pleasure
like a mild

Late Autumn Rain

A slow rain gathers
in the cups
of those few yellow leaves
still clinging
to their twigs.

One drop at a time,
until a leaf lets go,

each falling leaf
depriving those below
of its small protection.

The tree strips
from the top down.

At This Moment

with the taste of plums still on my tongue,
the texture under my teeth,

the hum of the building’s breath in the background,
and a view out the window

of wind-driven snow
sifting across the parking lot;

at this moment of the first dimming
of winter daylight,

with tall pines dark
against the white trim

of the red-brick house across the street,
where the new snow sketches

the shape of the shingles on its dark roof;
at this moment,

quite suddenly I am
entirely in my own skin,

by past or future,


Anne Le Dressay says: “The bio is the hardest part of a submission. I have been published sporadically since about 1970, and the bio gets briefer all the time. Now it usually reads “Anne Le Dressay lives in Ottawa (Canada) and is recently and happily retired from the public service.” I come from rural Manitoba and am thoroughly shaped by prairie landscape and big sky. I have published two poetry books, Old Winter and Sleep Is a Country. My real career, prior to the public service, was teaching English literature and Creative Writing. I spend a lot of time in coffeeshops reading or working on poems (which often take months or years to complete) or doing my best to revive the tradition of handwritten letters.”