Poetry Month Celebration Day 22

I give my folks grief, and sometimes rightfully so, but I will say I hold strong to the values they actively passed on to me: the love for my fellow man and for my Earth. I wished they bore themselves some of that love so I had a better example to do the same and would not have come to that lesson so late in life, but it is what it is. They did teach me to appreciate the world’s quiet places though, despite the fact that I am a city kid at heart. I often find my mind wandering to the times when the city spaces were quiet. I wander and sometimes want to stay.

Waking Dream on the Genessee

I am eleven again
walking along the gorge
on our way to the Seneca Park Zoo

Even so young I cannot help
but wonder
what this place was like
before England and France
decided to throw her their dregs
and then fight over her

What was it like
before the Six Nations
became one
no bridges
spanning the Genessee
a world of endless trees
and wetlands
home to deer
and beaver
and goose
and the men who hunted them
for food
fur
and down
and not for pretty ornaments

How quiet and grand
must it have been
that place where St. Paul runs now
with so few to disturb its beauty

I dreamed it
two hundred years
after it woke up
to the nightmare
of industrialization

I dreamed it
the slow
wide
current below the trees and rock
carrying Allegheny snow melt
to the loving embrace of Ontario

I dreamed it
and dream it still
the lost western paradise
the long houses
brushed away by my forebears
the thieves in the night
stealing land
and leaf
and love

I knew
even behind eleven year old eyes
what was lost
I knew
and hoped for sleep
for the dream to return
and the nightmare to end

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