Montreal Spring, 1955

Oh, when spring arrived, and high sun ousted winter’s
long blue shadows, how we shed our parkas, mitts, boots,

how rotten black snowbanks fled down city drains,
gutter tributaries to fleuve St-Laurent. Sudden sidewalks,

skipping ropes. Lady, lady, touch the ground, lady, lady
turn around. Feather light, bootless, how we learned to fly,

roller skates keyed on our shoes, bodies buzzing after,
vvvvvv all through supper and into sleep. How backwinds

fueled our bikes to park swings where we sailed over the city,
leaping again and again into wild freefall, skinned knees

our red courage badge. How Eden-new the earth smelled
when we scraped our vacant-lot marble holes,

aggies and catseyes kissing for keepsies. School a navy tunic
shrunk in the wash, parents missing till the streetlights came on.

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