2015: by the Light Given


it’s a day in may

we watch the election

turn our province map orange

on screen, tuned to cbc radio

for the call. i feel at home

for the first time, and for a long time

knowing that this

would have been worth living for

dad, to see your grand daughter

following the flow of fortune

shrieking like a fangirl

as grant notley’s daughter

ascended. his own ghost

must have smiled at last

to see her take the reins.


father, i have not ridden like that

i have not walked through that door

i have not answered that call

how many other ways are there to say

i did not become the politician

you thought i might be. i am perhaps

too lazy, too selfish, too vain, too slow.

i have cast my vote for poetry

healing, the garden and the road

i serve the song, in minor keys


all i have done is raise someone

who sits with me as the count rolls in

muses with me on what might change

goes with her father and i, to stand

in the hot bright sun, in the cheering crowd

at the swearing in. and i can tell she’s thinking

thoughts i’ll never know. you must have

known the same of me, and that you

trusted me to find my road, enough so

that you never haunted me, nor sent any sign

trusted that it was enough, to be alive

while you were, and that i would take what i needed

to make for myself a path.


i have cast my vote for poetry

i live in an elm cathedral

with a garden, my little family

and so many memories now

of my own, not shared with you.

this is the thing, each generation

must follow the song, by the light given

reading the score we write day by day

30 years on, my song remains small

but i do believe i can call it mine.

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