The puck skates in on parted-snow ice.
It's the season’s last game, an encore
to stomach winter’s sliver, to shrug off
the townsfolk stares.
The moonlit night is advanced in years
My father's speech was slurred most of my childhood — but it's a rite
of passage for many Maritime Canadians
'cause I heard from a friend of a friend that linguists say our accent
Slim, slight. Sinew and bird bones.
Cords of her hands like spruce roots.
Came from Ship Cove to Crow Gulch
with little more than the child inside her,
landed in a small shack flanked by
My Black heroes don’t drop names like Fendi Gucchi Prada
My Black sheroes rock afros like Angela Davis and Assata
But my sheroes are more than a trend and they’re bigger than a hairstyle
I lost my talk
The talk you took away.
When I was a little girl
At Shubenacadie school.
You snatched it away:
I speak like you
I think like you
I create like you
You’d have to pay us
Could you pay us enough
To live for a stretch
Let’s say the fix was in. Let’s say history,
Being human and thus short on ideas,
Made change from an old bag of tricks. Say this
The books sit on the shelf, a row of coma patients
in a ward, a series of selves no longer able to learn
and trapped at the point of injury: the last page.
If this brain’s over-tempered
consider that the fire was want
and the hammers were fists.
Your father worked Drumheller while you ate and slept at home.
He travelled the badlands, squatted below rocks, read books