Gaspé Peninsula 

            “Dans les grandes cites, dans les bois, sur les grêves,

            Ton image flottera dans mes rêves,

                        O mon Canada, bien aimé.”

Louis Honoré Fréchette

Roadside ovens 

with warm, crusty baguette. 

Wine for the adults, 

grape juice for the children. 

Open expanse, 

from Chic-Choc highlands 

of caribou and Jacques-Cartier, 

to rolling grasses.

Over to those steep cliffs 

before falling to

The Gulf and Newfoundland, 

to Cardiff and Cork. 

Wading to Rocher Percé 

before the tide came in. 

Like a beacon, 

the phantom rock floats 

on the waves warning 

freighters of rough waters ahead. 

We heed the signal, 

rolling up our jeans 

before climbing, 

falling, splashing 

back to humanity,

back to the mainland. 

And the highway hugs 

the coastline between 

limestone wall 

and expansive deep. 

There, out the window, 

you could reach and rub  

the sounding humpbacks. 

Laughing in the waves, 

they too splashed back 

to safety before their 

great migration 

to tropical 


Wind Me Up

There’s a jar in the kitchen 

holding our keys, 

old, forgotten ones 

side by side with the ones 

we use every day. 

A key from an old job; 

it’s been years, 

but it remains, a totem 

of remembrance. 

The key to the liquor cabinet: 

vodka, rum, gin, vermouth, 

a couple bottles of Scotch. 

They gather dust, forgotten 

but for a holiday party 

or a family game night. 

There’s a key to 

my great-grandmother’s 

mantel clock. 

I’ve never wound it; 

I keep it just in case. 

Then there is the key 

that fits the hole in 

my back. 

Wind me up

and watch me waddle. 

Wind me up, and I go 

to the supermarket, the deli, 

Starbucks or Target. 

Wind me up and I 

cook and clean,

cook and clean. 

As I wind down slowly 

in the evening, 

as I wind down after another day 

of errands and naps, 

I wonder who will insert 

that key tomorrow

and wind me up 


Andre F. Peltier (he/him) is a Pushcart Nominee and a Lecturer III at Eastern Michigan University where he teaches literature and writing. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI, with his wife and children. His poetry has recently appeared in various publications like CP Quarterly, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Provenance Journal, Lavender and Lime Review, About Place, Novus Review, Fiery Scribe, and Fahmidan Journal, and most recently in Menacing Hedge, The Brazos Review, and Idle Ink. His debut chapbook, Poplandia, is forthcoming from Alien Buddha Press in 2022. In his free time, he obsesses over soccer and comic books.

Twitter: @aandrefpeltier


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