Day 4: Cannery Tour

Cannery Tour

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

mindful machinery.




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