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In the Light of Day poetry chapbook

Story ID:11426
Written by:Richard Laurent. Provencher (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:Truro Nova Scotia Canada
Person:Richard L. Provencher
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A Chapbook of Poetry

In the Light of Day


Richard L. Provencher


© 2014-16 Richard L. Provencher (all poems)

© 2014-16 Esther and Richard Provencher
Dester Publications ~ All rights reserved.


100 copies of this Chapbook were originally printed by Mercutio Press 2004, which went into hiatus in 2007.


To my wife, Esther, a caring and loving person, who continues to inspire me.


That Old Mill

is alive in the light of day
harsh wind grabbing
your windpipe, breath of winter-chill

icicle eyes staring dimly
at the scene, leftover pussy
willows as
stiff fingers beside river’s bank.

Within view an ancient mill
by the passage of time.

Images of life return as a photo
album, deer
within shadows
cows flicking horse flies

kids painting the barn and
three dogs chasing.

Childhood is splashing in the
creek, pages from life
a long time ago.

A Good Man

The weather was a chill of numbing
in its creeping
from bone to muscle, no longer

bothersome, picked up reinforcements
a short while ago
in his closet, the best from
Salvation Army, selected
a woolen sweater
heavier jacket, scarf and
ear-flap hat, now back on the

street, two newspaper bags a-bouncing
arms marching by his sides

happy again, reddened cheeks
like a fireplace, same
as uncle’s cabin in the hills.

Only twenty-seven, full of steam,
yes-sir, used to call him
in early school days, not now
“No-sir, No way”

‘cause he’s the boss of himself.
Heads down the street
to his first paper customer, looks
forward to shouting

“Good morning mister!”

A Moment, Again

Watch that young man, arm
across his girlfriend’s back
cuddling, feel
precious time return to
an image of days ago, forgetting hello’s
and I love you’s

here again, through
our children
we return to the moment

erase time as wrinkled fingers
reach across old paths, to
feel again.

Bless that young man, bless
that young girl
they’re mirrors of our past.

A Senior’s Ride

Watch them coming at me
on the sidewalk, must
think this is the Indiana 500

wheel chair rolling quickly
from his push of love

the man in track pants
leans forward, braces himself
exhausted from the wind

must be his wife in the seat
laughing, eyes dancing
head lolling crazily, enjoying
a headlong rush to somewhere.

I can see myself doing that
some day, perhaps I may be
the passenger.

Bless the Children

swirling swords
behind snow forts, hands
activated with
walloping tosses

readying for a bold
frontal assault

days of the Round
Table alive, as
Knight’s charging across
our parking lot.

And in a Nursing Home
not so far away
an old Knight, Grandpa
his days of Camelot

fingering snowballs
in his dreams

joyful time replaced
by wheel-skids
from a rolling chair.
And dusty in a corner
of his room, the sword
from childhood days.

Cleaner, County Building

He comes each afternoon
mop in hand and a warm
bucket of water, nicely lathered
uses the old ways to keep
our floors spotless, gives them
a tired wash, his face appears
so drained of emotion,
same old job
same old floors
same old hi and lately
only grunting as we walk by
as if the effort to acknowledge
our passing grows less important.

Edmonton Centre Plaza

Pausing in her search
for change
she throws the chip-wagon man
a shy grin

"Three regulars please,"
and nudges her growing tummy
against the wagon
for support

two kids growling for
lunch, another on the way.

Fisherman’s Son

Moonbeam flashlight
covers the

little boy and his
dog, Sandy.

Sitting on
papa’s dory this time
of night is neat

one day he’ll fish
for cod too.

Sky is darker than a
wet blanket, an
owl’s hoot
coyotes singing.

“Sleepy time!”
is mama’s thunder

and feet explode
on the dock.


From Day to Day

Gray-haired gentleman
hanging onto specs, morning
paper on lap

porch canopy handy when 32 C
visits your trailer-home site.

His flowerpots sprinkle the lot,
Impatiens and
Gladiolas colouring his view

Muffins asleep at his feet, Ida
stares from the sofa, cruel
Alzheimer's taking root.

From the next trailer children
singing, "Old MacDonald’s Barn,"
verses changed, voices full of
laughter and carrying on

a smile warms his crinkled face
memories of canoeing, long
walks with his wife and
family growing older,
recollections of back then.

Their front lawn is still a
WELCOME of printed names
Ida, John and Muffins.

Full Circle

Cars move as
brooms, sweeping across
his view as he
enters the intersection

Helmeted, nice bike
new Adidas, briefcase
in the carrier-basket

crosses old railway
tracks, rusty
fingers sneaking
through summer weeds

passes moms, baby
carriages, and older kids
trying for attention

sets his eyes on the
building ahead,
graffiti in various shapes
and colours

some words not so
nice, other 'tags' kind
of neat-

a few years ago, his
were “boss.”

Homeless on King Street

Towers of glass are monuments of
Commerce to society
with national name banks and
other products

ten or twelve floors below garbage
piled higher
than an ice cream cone laying
on the sidewalk, Tim Horton cups

leapfrogging over Subway
wraps and cigarette butts that
no one seems to notice.

Stores busy with shoppers, others
home watching kids or snacking in front
of video action movies

bleak voices on the street asking
any leftover passerby,
“Change for a coffee, mister?”

Nothing much in their pockets but lint,
shoe leather worn thin. Now
begins the hustle of another day.

Kite Flying

Wooden main brace
paper-painted tail,
string attached to the

line ready, sky's impatient
everyone shouting
and eager.

Letting out the line
we're licking our lips,
watching the wind catch our prize
line running taut

kite takes off, sluggish at first
the wind is a helper, a friend.

Now the wind owns the kite,
takes it to places often dreamed of
and I am its only passenger.

Mister Gray Hair

Finally awake in the
Senior’s Home,
morning sun higher
than a wind-blown kite

time to dress, then climb
into your wheel-chair

used to crazy-leg
dance at the Legion Hall
too many years ago

only fancy steps left
are skid marks on the
polished floor.

You don't fool me with
stares and wrinkled
skin. That mind beats
with a song

smiles of memory still
dancing the night away.


some windows are broken, three on one
side and two on the other
it’s a faded worn down building,
the garbage
always late for pickup
easy pickings for the strays,
neighbours always complaining
papa toils for just enough
to get by
and yet his children are
so cheerful
and without worries
not caring they’re so poor
living their lives each day
having fun and all


the little boy
watches the tourists,
each week-end
he sits beneath
the pines
and throws pebbles
into colpoy bay,
some of the visitors
even get a suntan

remember small one
you’ll have your turn
to play the big shot
and spend your
in far away places

Road Guardian

Red helmet, frayed
rubber boots
and mustard on the shirt

a belly bulge
strains his leather belt

hand monitoring in
slow motion, a swagger in
the stance

swivels a rusty STOP sign,
proud of his job
waited a long time for
this opportunity

besides, he needs the cash.

Today’s construction
is a hubbub of dusty trucks,
noisy Cats and

impatient tourists.
Resident, Home for the Aged

head hanging to one side
limp, lifeless in the chair,
belt tight across
her belly
couldn’t take another fall

it’s almost noon and
the r-n-a will come
and wheel her to the table,
gently wake her up,
then feed
and care for her

she’ll come alive
eyelids flickering
trembling of lips
loose folds of skin,

somewhere back there
across well waxed floors
down one hall
and then another,
her room

over to one side
beside the other
some old pictures
one in particular
on her dusty table,
her children

innocent faces
full, joy and life
looking up at momma
never dreaming one day
she would be old,
and lonely

Sleepover in Toronto

From the exhaust of a bitter cold
day, Go-Bus passengers
stare at a mixture
of overnight sleeping bags in
random scuffle –

they’re scattered along
the sidewalk, a pile of insulation
zipper-open for quick return.

Hiding our thoughts, we pray those
vagabond warriors are
gathering at local soup kitchens
sturdy and alive
in the wind of snowfall

later chasing loonies alongside
Yonge and Bloor Street, or
maybe visiting a friendly bench at
City Hall Square.

No matter, evening’s chill will remind
the homeless, their only
escape for comfort awaits within
the cloth of snow-bank winter.

Thank You, Lady

Kiss her cheek, I kissed
her cheek
a small thank
you for the ‘baby tears’
for my wife.
“A gift for her,”
she said
“for Christmas, I want to thank you
for your kindness.”

She’s a happy lady, that
old woman in a Home for the Aged,
she has simple pleasures and
her appreciation is great.

For one brief moment my lips
touched her cheek
that soft wrinkled flesh,
for one brief moment
I was her son.

Thank you, lady.

Train to Sudbury

Saw him Friday
spoke for an hour
about problems and alcoholics
talked about life, its struggles

gave him
twenty-five bucks and wished him
the best –
thanked me, said I was a pal

hours later the radio report,
unidentified man discovered dead
of natural causes, on a train
on a train to Sudbury.
The Miner

wears a cotton protective mask,
bleached cotton scraping
tenderness of skin

only twenty years old, man-child
sharing a paycheck with
mom and family

trudges two miles across quiet
streets, listens to the breath
of early morn, silence is

behind those windows, even
cars and bicycles
stationary in
layers of contentment

humming mine continues to draw
him into its yawn of smelter

tall stacks, molten copper awaiting
preparations of shaped moulds

splashing heat anxious to
become square-shaped anodes.

The Pick-Up Man

Unshaven, grimy from
morning’s workout

looks and bends, picking
up someone else’s
left over treats

hasn’t missed a roadside
curb or street litter
box since 6 am

discarded cans
and bottles are his

A grin of satisfaction as he
steadies his bicycle

checks the balance of
noisy, bulging bags
hanging from his bike trailer

pauses a moment, then
heading off to the Bottle Depot
returns my wave.

The Wooden Ramp

His front porch provides
for a front lawn choking
with ragweed

clusters of dandelions
joining peeled paint pass
as landscape

wheelchair ramp at an
extreme angle,
fingering the open doorway.

Gulf War arms need two
smoking tries to roar up the
incline, sometimes

three painful tumbles are part
of the plan,
deserved bruises.

Remembers how it
used to be, wife and kids
picnics of fun

and laughter. Now it's
these useless legs and
lots of booze

son, Harry probably now ten,
Joan's arms just a dream
storm clouds

the only activity around.

Author Notes:

The contents of this book are intact in the same manner as first published with Mercutio Press. It is also the first print poetry chapbook/book published of Richard L. Provencher.

Richard L. Provencher, is retired, married in Sarnia, Ontario on March 27, 1975 to Esther. They now live in Truro, Nova Scotia. His poems blend a love of nature with contemporary issues. Many are in print and online with: Ottawa Arts Review, Hudson View, Caduceus, Windsor Review, Paragon 111, Parenting Express, Time of Singing, Bacopa, Phati’tude Literary Magazine, and many others.