Glen Sorestad – 2 poems

Blood Test, 7:00 a.m.



Rising from the warmth of a duvet to face a blood test,

before morning’s first coffee can pass your lips,


or the least morsel of food can boost your world,

before the show-off sun shakes up the eastern sky,


is not recommended for rational mortals. But here I am,

early morning, queued up outside the still-locked clinic,


with a motley of coffee-deprived grumps outside the door,

waiting for the lock to unbolt, opening the dam to a flood


of fasters, whose only non-violent thoughts are to get

inside, quick-bleed the demanded vials, then bolt back


home to an aromatic welcome of fresh-brewed coffee,

earthy toast, a favored cup, waiting with the daily paper.




Halo in the Casino



The Vegas slot machine generously generated

a fifty-dollar return on my twenty-dollar investment

in the ongoing welfare of the state of Nevada,


not to mention the unseen owners of this smoke-infested

emporium of electronic din. I pushed CASH, figuring

I’d recoup my original twenty, then play a bit longer,


courtesy of the casino’s largesse. When the machine

dutifully dealt my cash voucher, I tucked it away

for safe-keeping into my shirt pocket to redeem later.


I continued playing. A short time later, my wife

inquired from the adjacent machine, “Did you notice

that drunk young guy? The one who staggered against


our chairs?” But I hadn’t seen the guy at all – rapt

in the distracting cacophony and ceaseless movement

of the human zoo surrounding us. Hordes of them,


moving, sitting, standing wherever they could.

I would have gone right back to spinning reels,

except that’s the precise moment I noticed


my empty shirt pocket. I stared. I looked down

at my feet, scoured the floor around our machines.

I ‘d had a flashing neon bozo-halo over my head,


a red arrow pointing to my shirt pocket. Picked

and plucked. By a drunk who wasn’t.  Feel free,

dear reader, to write and add your own moral here.






Glen Sorestad is a much published and translated Canadian poet who lives in Saskatoon. His poems travel more widely and more often than he does.


Glen Sorestad – 2 poems 

What the Photo Cannot Show



In the photo two young brothers

step towards the Brownie camera;

the older may be five,

the younger sibling not yet three.

This is their backyard.


The older one appears eager

to protect his sibling: one hand

reaches towards his brother

to steady that chubby wobbler

on the uneven lawn.


The elder cannot know,

but five years after this photo

he will thrash an older, taller boy

for stealing his brother’s cookie.


Nor can he know he cannot

protect his brother against

cancer that will snuff his life

in four short decades.


All About Winning



Hey, it’s your turn to win! a disembodied voice

shouts out to me. Each morning here. Some mornings

I ignore the voice, ignore the words.


Other mornings I want to shout back at it, engage

in a personal accounting of wins and losses,

determine how I rank overall in the scheme of things.


This recorded vending machine voice hails me

as I pass it by on my usual mall walk route.

It’s just a money-scooping small crane,


a vending machine programmed like

a midway huckster, luring us over to operate

the scoop and take home the plush teddy bear.


There’s no limit to what you can win!

The machine taunts with phony enthusiasm,

though we know there are limits to everything.


What I want to tell it is that I am a winner.

Whether I have maxed out my wins, or whether

my luck is waning is not for me to say.


I do know my soul mate appears determined

to share the rest of her life with me; I’ve outlived

my parents, even my younger brother;


my limbs are all intact, and I am still quite able

to walk past without a second thought and ignore

this nameless, bodiless barker.


Glen Sorestad is a well travelled Canadian poet whose work has been published widely throughout North America and elsewhere. His poems have appeared in over 60 anthologies and have been translated into seven languages.

His most recent book of poetry is Hazards of Eden: Poems from the Southwest (Lamar University Press. 2015).