Day 30: Because Blossoms

did i mention i came to the city suspicious? after all

every indian of a certain age (yes, indian, to frame this)

knows that cities eat indians. of course, there’s the trick.

i am anishinabekwe, lnuskw also, and polish by matrilineage.

i came looking for some fabled southland that sang to me

in dreams all through my bloom-poor childhood

and imagined this as a portal to there. and so it was.

but i fell, if you want to know, in love, because

the very first spring, that first terrible spring, it was may

and blossoms reigned above the streets. my father died

on my first day of work. not a metaphor. we fell into grief

and i walked for weeks, walked shoes off my feet, measured

myself against loss and the dignity of work, and looked up

for light, for a reason to believe in love. well, then it isn’t

that i fell;  but you could say, walking to work, walking

home, pulling new clothes round my shoulders

i rose, into my own self, possible. if trees could

bloom here…

This last poem of 30 poems in 30 days, for National Poetry Month, brings me to a point some 31 years ago now, when i arrived in this city. I’ve left. I’ve lived oceans away from here, in the southlands, in the far east, in mountains, and yet i return. This spring, my suspicions are confirmed; among my raspberry canes, a tree has arisen. My elder neighbour told me to check it last fall, as it seemed to her she should tell me, the old man who once gardened here had grown mayday trees along that fence, maybe a root survived. This spring, there are irrefutably, blossoms on what is suddenly a tree. 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. May is all about pulling new clothes around our shoulders. Well done!


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