charlie meets us at the skytrain
somewhere out in richmond’s kanji forests
drives us to the shore, his wife and sons
and we fly kites, walk driftwood
speak of waitangi, how
andrea’s homeland builds on that treaty
how, here on the salish sea, history is a wave
a long time coming in to shore.
finally, the kids are hungry, so we go
down the way there’s a fish and chip stand
world famous,at least around here.
as we place our orders, a man pushes past
borrows the house phone, calls police.
there’s a man in the parking lot, crazy or drugged
with a long knife, among the cars. we align.
doug with andrea at the picnic table, her boys
drawn in their wake. the girls want to carry
our order, so i step close and tell them, if
i say run, they nod, they were listening.
charlie takes the point, triangulated
watching. we’re all seated, eating
before the cops arrive, and nothing happens.
as we stroll away through perimeter uniforms
past the conspicuous cars
andrea explains to her boys why we know
that there, off to one side,
was an unmarked back up van, also that man
on the bike looked like part of team kevlar.
doug and charlie walk behind, until
we’re down past the crab trap depot yard
there’s a cannery museum, we have just enough time
to tour the works, a marvel
decommissioned assembly line displays
each in their place, each setting hands
to a piece of the task
some organic, human driven