BY DAN DAVIDSON

The highway passes it by now,

elevated, two metres above

where the entrance used to be.

The pumps are long gone,

leaving holes like extracted teeth

in the muddy soil.

“Private property” mocks the sign,

surrounded by invading trees

reclaiming the landscape as

demolition by neglect destroys

the builder’s dreams.

The roof has collapsed in spots;

the fallen facade cracks underfoot;

the shelves have fallen over,

and the paintings are gone.

The only sign of the former owner

is the door stop

Beauchesne’s Parliamentary Rules and Forms

moldering against the warped sill.

There have been other invaders.

Cigarette stubs and beer cans

show in the uneven twilight.

Nomads have probably slept here,

though it would not have been pleasant.

Once the tiny two-storEy living quarters

attached to the larger store

was a cozy place

where John and Freda chatted

with a pair of young teachers,

and then shut down the shop

before setting off to camp

across Canada that winter

thirty-three years gone.

They returned, but the store stayed closed.

The pumps idle.

He painted Prime Ministers

and she declined.

After her death, he left,

returning only once.

Shocked by decay

and the ghosts of his dreams,

he retired south and fell silent

as an abandoned roadhouse

just south of Beaver Creek.

After 32 years teaching in rural Yukon schools, Dan Davidson retired from that profession but continues writing about life in Dawson City.