edwards park.

napowrimo #28

I.

when we crossed
the river i made a mistake

one hand in yours, plucking grass
from a lawn with the other,

stomping the slugs and
snails downwards, into the earth

II.

you curl
fingers together
with yours in a lone
mitten;
you lost the
other, or gave it
away

III.

beneath our umbrella we damage
the soil, we dig with purpose

in the end
we ask for the rain, for
the way it becomes when
we’ve torn up the streets

trains.

when i was eight, nine, ten years old i had terrible nightmares that you would die in various train accidents. there were no trains in our quiet village; the trains ran below, in dundas, along the sculpted ridge of the niagara escarpment.

and now you actually are dead.

how can that be true.

strangers.

in a memory, i didn’t live here yet. i was pregnant and i was single and i had a terrible wardrobe. i was in love with two boys and i couldn’t bring either of them with me (if i had wanted to). i was about to give up my car, my driver’s license, my job, my friends, my life. i needed to schedule an abortion. i drank tim horton’s instead of starbucks. i depended entirely on six packs & cigarettes.

i got lost. i drove right past what i now consider my favourite place, my go-to place. i turned around at the stadium, recognizing the structure from a photograph. i made my way. and then i met you. somehow, even in a memory, i met you.

and in a memory, i worked 10 hour shifts in a basement. i dyed my hair blonde, then dark brown. i broke my phone and lost all my phone numbers and assumed a new identity. i remembered you. i went blonde again. i moved into a new apartment with hardwood floors. i played house and did the dishes and the apartment burned down. i moved again and i remembered you. i had roommates and i fell hard, incredibly in love with white wine. and i eventually tore down the life i had created and moved into a new room.

that is when i let you in, asked you in. let memories fold over realities, let the lines blur. i tried and tried to keep remembering but the only you i see is in a classroom, spilling water on the floor.

so.
i’m sure that things have been worse before. much worse. if i remember correctly. but these are only memories; i might have made them up.

back then.

when i was a little girl he played a song on a record player and the song made me cry so he’d stop the record and i’d beg him, i’d beg him to put it back on and it was “only if you don’t cry” and i’d promise and he’d play it and i’d cry and cry and then he’d let it play and then i’d beg to hear it one more time and then we didn’t go back one day and it has made me cry every time since then, and now when she sings it i am hardened and cold.