Kieran Egan lives in Vancouver, Canada. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Quills, Literary Review of Canada, Dalhousie Review, High Window, Orbis, Raintown Review, Antigonish Review, and Envoi. Some time ago he built a Japanese teahouse and garden as a place in which he would write poetry and, in 2000, published Building My Zen Garden (Houghton-Mifflin, Boston).
Expectations of terror
There was no shelling around the soccer field tonight,
no mortar attack on the changing rooms,
no sign of tanks on 41st. or MacKenzie Street.
The boys and their parents took no precautions against sniper fire.
The helicopter was not a gunship but reporting on traffic for commuters.
No one ran for cover from that jet: it was carrying executives to a meeting.
The bag the team mother carried was packed with oranges, not grenades.
The families walked past lines of cars, expecting none of them to explode.
Our houses have suffered no destruction from bombs.
Our cats and dogs have not gone mad or starved or been eaten.
If the kids win or lose this evening, the wall will not explode over them.
We are disturbed by constantly unfulfilled expectations of horror,
which is not the problem for others elsewhere.