I board with my gut in the same
tangle as the earphones in my carry-on,
invest in gin and tonic distraction.
Warmth eddies around my tongue, seeps
through the ice jam in my jaw and shoulders.
Just a hint of quinine bitters; same bite that
silences me in circular conversations.
I’m reminded of the snarled knitting of my youth,
wool squeaking as it scraps across needles,
too much tension. When with a tug
I could unravel back through loops of time
to pick up dropped stitches, correct tautness. Family
tapestry, not as easily rewoven.
Already beige wool, how much further did I dilute
pure laine by leaving? Geese who honk between
two homes in chase of sustenance
still carry the label Canada.
Or is it my amnesiac mother tongue? I try
drag words out of slush in my throat,
joual of Les Belles-Soeur lost in translation.
I baptized my offspring in a northern lake,
inoculate them with bonhomme de neige, sculptures de glace.
How often must my goslings fly
home so that, like me,
their footprints belong to snow.
Published in Room Magazine, 40.3 : Migration. Vancouver BC: Friesens Corporation (2017).