songanddancegirl

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

VANISHING

I TURN ONLY TO SEE THEM VANISHING

AT THE DAMP EDGE OF THE ROAD

My first real job circa 1979   Probation+Parole  Regent Park

21 yrs. old   Befriended Premier Of Ontario’s daughter Nancy

Said she’d never met a Jew before me   I thought this novel   My

father was incensed: What kind of racist bullshit is this?

 

Nancy  on her 1st visit to a Jew’s home  regaled me with stories

of:  sailing regattas  her boyfriend Potter +his buds hanging at the

Granite Club  where Jews were banned   I wasn’t invited to the

wedding she’d called  a merger    Yet I still thought Nancy swell

+pretended not to focus on her moustache

 

Our boss Mary Gunn  a 70 something Scottish matron  commented

frequently on my suntanned legs  ( I belonged to a golf+tennis club

for Jews)  My father  intuitively with a growl: She’s a lesbian Aprill!

When Mary asked me to take her to Eaton’s for bras  +slid her hand

along said suntanned leg   I marvelled at my father’s facility for laying bare

one’s secret proclivities

 

He would have made a most excellent spy  +infact through tips from

turncoat brother/weasels  found me at 14  in an opium den  Bestfriend

Joni’s father  a one handed butcher  in constant phantom pain  fell victim

to the poppy  She quit school in grade 10  +married the trumpet player from

Lighthouse  My father banned her from our house  While older brother said

she stank  but followed her movements closely

 

The only other woman in the house was my gorgeous mother  who at 93 continues

to wax enigmatic: There is nothing like the excitement of dating mobsters!   My father

had married a moll +hid her away in a dull suburban backwater   It did not matter

Her best friend:  a Chanel wearing  tangerine Cutless driving  race track lady    She

had a gravely laugh  +lit her cigarette like a trucker    I tell you   those 2 dames

they walked  on water

__

 

I am growing old.

A bird cries in bare elder trees.

Whatever it was I lost, whatever I wept for

It is here.

(James Wright  Pulitzer Prize  1972)

 

 

 

 

Fall 2017

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