Pit stop

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Saskatoon in the Fall

2 weeks in Saskatchewan

to October 15, 1992

            a minor missive from a major mover:


            Air Canada

            30,000 ft.



Dear Michael,


            in flight

            (tho not necessarily running away)

            Winnipeg at the wing




green glow growing out of black blankness.  intersecting, only vaguely chaotic lines of orange, yellow, white.  not a city where 500,000 people live, each light a life.  but graphics on a computer screen.  hit a button and all the points of light disappear.  black blankness again.  where images really are power, 


& generators are generating generations

...or is it the other way around?




            then. Wanuskewin.  a sighting.  a  Cree heritage. a cite.

            another story


Saskatchewan's blankness from ground vantage, in daylight, exposed in its complexity.  I am grounded. Less susceptible to shock.  Exchanging currents for currency.  "Now" to buy a little piece of "then". 


& the metaphor is overloaded anyway.  flickering.  blackout.


            new line:


Gordon Lightfoot, a seductive national moment as my brother's 19,000 dollar Celica glides thru a familiar landscape.  Flatness prevails, tho ghost stories now ride dust particles on the prairie winds.  My childhood played out against this big sky.  Roads like geometric annotations, carefully plotting out space and place.  Defining.  And there is no swerving from the chosen path.  No.  No choices at all.  Their roads are straight lines (prairie no-nonsense).   From here to there.  From A to B. Stories as familiar as old gloves


            where i prefer your naked fingertips


            ...a T.O. memory:  momentary glitch on the horizon

            of grey highway and a Gordon Lightfoot serenade.


            place. space. time. context...



I spent five years in Saskatoon and never knew Wanuskewin existed.  Now we draw attention to its buffalo jump and its medicine wheel.  Even if those names aren't what they were called back then.  When the natives of the area knew how to make the land itself speak.  New words codify and commodify.


            there is a story here.  nonetheless


especially when the "less" is more or less approximate to the "nothing" you've been searching for


            whether pre- pro- or post-


& the magic today comes in a refusal to ride quietly on return.  I sing loud 'n off key to Stompin' Tom, my brother's fav. I will not be scared speechless by ghosts, no matter what the tongue.... When have I ever been at a loss for words?



I have my mother's home cooking to thank for my complacency.  Mouth's too full of tasting to say much in defense of new stories or an old world


            even if i'd rather have your skin against my lips

            at any given moment


            memory.  momentary fissure in the time

            scheme.  the screen shifts.  same points

            of light.  new arrangement.  hit a button

            and it all disappears


            "then" and "now"

            shifty propositions



...&  even while positing proposals for new possibilities, I am thwarted by ghosts


            your body

            your eyes

            your lips

            word contexts

            confounding codification


Oh, and I ran into my ex-husband the other day



            full stop


I am  leaving home soon:


            my place

            my ambitions

            my family

            my country

            my language

            my memories


            a ghost or  two



&  I  keep thinking:


            you were supposed to be safe


but here I am...



Dreaming during the day of your voice

its gentle quizzing

your open response to my touch


Living out story after story at night

Toronto...  Belize...  Ecuador....


            i am in flight again

            except, every time i look out

            over the wing, and



            ...there you are


You provide a decent crisis, Michael, for someone who was supposed to be safe

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Saskatoon in the Fall
Saskatoon in the Fall
photo by: melybonnargent