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The Abandoned Knapsack

by Michael e. Casteels

I scan the park for its owner,
but there’s only a raucous crow
harassing the morning’s relative quiet:
the din of highway traffic, the collective rustle
of wind-blown leaves, the tidal rise and fall
of joyous screams from the school playground.
The knapsack could be a person,
sitting crossed-legged, slouched in a shadow.
The chirping of a nearby cricket glues
together the endless blue of autumn
from scraps of summer skies. The sun
warms the picnic table, which grew cold
and lonely over night. I sit and stare
at the knapsack and I can’t tell if it’s breathing.

About this Poem

Michael e. Casteels prefers his walks late at night, while the city slumbers. His best poems are stolen from the Lost & Found. One day he will wake up before his alarm clock, but not today. He lives and breathes in Kingston, where he runs Puddles of Sky Press.
Michael has appeared previously on the KFPL Poetry Blackboard and he is the author of the poetry collection The Last White House at the End of the Row of White Houses (2016, from Invisible Publishing).

 Cover of Casteels' Last White House At The End of The Row Of White Houses 

About the Poetry Blackboard

The Poetry Blackboard showcases poems curated by Kingston's Poet Laureate and written by Kingston poets. There's a new poem every month, written by poets living and dead, historical and contemporary, published and unpublished, adults and children, giving full range to the cultural voice of Kingston. Started in 2015 by Helen Humphreys, the Poetry Blackboard will be continued as of 2019 by Jason Heroux.

News About the Poetry Blackboard

We wish to thank Helen Humphreys, Kingston's second Poet Laureate, for her generous support of emerging and established poets in Kingston through library programming and our Poetry Blackboard project. Throughout her four years as Poet Laureate, Helen curated a digital collection of poetry to showcase the talents of local creators of all ages, both historic and contemporary. Helen also offered several opportunities for emerging poets to develop their craft, offering group workshops and one-on-one mentorship. Her active engagement with the library and community has been greatly appreciated.

We welcome our incoming Poet Laureate, Jason Heroux, and look forward to working together to continue the Poetry Blackboard and develop new community programming.

Previously Published Poems