Hayden Saunier

Fact or Fiction

His walking stick hooked high on a tree branch
above the R5 station platform: fact.

No witnesses: fact.

The odd miracle claps both hands on an old man’s back.
Shock and feathers: a splintering, pain shattered, gone: fiction.

Pigeons stutter into flight, circle above: fact.

He is healed, whole. He tosses the cane up, it catches, hooks.
He boards the train.
Fiction, fiction, fiction.

Astonished, his body rises through the trees,
bedroom slippers brushing the canopy
as he breaks into air,
his hands open, letting fall
the cane back to earth
where it catches
on a branch, like a vaudevillian hook:
fiction, fiction, dramatic simile.

A few leaves shake free,
kettle down. Fact.

No warning bell. No whistle. Fiction.
Important to be ready for the road. Fact.