"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



It’s 1960  North Toronto  Jewish ghetto

What does the air smell like?  Thick   with

peonies   mums   & death     Friend’s parents

newly transplanted from the Camps  of Poland

& Germany     What do I see   in front of me?


suburban lawn  road   survivor couple’s home  

huge & on a hill   they are rarely seen   faces lined

weatherbeaten   no children   they always smile at me


A boy from up the street   Ashley   sits on their hill  most days

at 3   tormenting me    Staring longingly  at my bedroom window

Years later we heard that he   was crushed in a taxi   Cement truck

flipped over        Goodbye Ashley   


His face is round  darkish skin   His sister & her friend hate me

with a passion reserved for girls with gently curly hair  & handsome

brothers     They call out taunts from their balconies   daily


In dreams  I still walk by  and eye   their lumpy bodies & dishevelment

I shiver when cement trucks threaten    & wonder how the story might be

re-written    had I invited Ashley-boy   inside      In Chaos theory lingo:

Had the butterfly not flapped it’s wings would Ashley still be alive?


chaos theory



It was a strange world ahead.  A thunderhead of a world

with jagged lightening edges. I went straight into it. It was

wide open.     Bobby Zimmerman  Chronicles  2004



Winter  2013

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