Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This Fermi Life

I don't remember great grandfather Gilbert
Just a photo from Them Days
Dated 1971
When I was a mouth and two feet and hands

You went your way
I'm going mine
I hope we meet each other somewhere down the line

Nan and gramp
Warmed and coloured my youth
In frozen Labrador
We were adults together
Only one afternoon
In the Duckworth Cafe

They went forward
I stayed back
I hope we meet each other somewhere down the track

Leo, I love you
With every fiber, every atom
I will stay as long as I can
Enjoying every second of overlap
In this Fermi life

Poem of America

America has swallowed lies
So large and outrageous, so clumsy
They could only be true
The greatest in the world
Staring up from the mat

America has closed the door
Or shown it
To those who pluck strawberries
Forgetting how
To do these things herself

America, I love you
America, remember
You were never defined
By your low points
But how you picked yourself back up

The fuck

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Me too

Seeing all these "Me too"
Digital ghost voices
Invade my social network
I think
How brave women are
How craven men can be

If men were challenged
To post "Me too"
For every catcall
Every unwanted touch
Or rape
We would not be so brave

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Bullying Spot

There is a spot on the crowded road
Where I walk my beautiful four year old
Japanese-Canadian boy
Holding hands to preschool every morning

A gravel welltrod path between
Narrow soccer van parking
And overgrown concrete gutters that rage in typhoons

On Monday, a soccer ball bought by a proud mother
Sat in the gutter, red, wanting to be played

Tuesday a leather tissue box
Given by a loving father
Blocked our path

On Wednesday, handouts blew about the lot
Prepared by a concerned teacher
And a lunchbox joined the tissue box

Nothing changed

Friday saw notebooks in the gutter
A newish pair of leather shoes
Beading under the drizzling sky

My boy said "Why why why?"
He, too young to read
But I was bilingual in cruelty
Taught by Canadian toughs lurking in after school parks
Schooled by Japanese administrators waiting in interrogation rooms
I could read in the strewn pieces of a life
The name of this place

The Bullying Spot

Monday, October 9, 2017

I Give Thanks

I give thanks
That I knew William Pritchard
As I grew to manhood

William taught that younger me
The power that is kindness
The strength that is gentleness
The toughness that is laughter

Thank you

I give thanks
That I could see William Pritchard
Last year

I give thanks
That I could wheel him around
That I could sit with him at the optometrist
That I could watch him play with my little son
Who I hope will be as thankful for me

I wish I could be more thankful today