Arts featured

Depiction, a poem by Chad Norman

for El Jones

As I heard the laughter become
the weeping
and the weeping become the laughter
all that the laughter
tries to hide,
no signs of the life lived there
I've always noticed
how dirty snow can get.

She was looking
for the page on the stage
fallen, taken when the wind sang.

A stronger time
I ask the door about
but it has taken too many knocks.

A stronger scene
I ask the window about
but it has taken too many closures.

A stronger unity
I ask the home about
but it has taken too many renovations.

Marry me to the sky
even though I married a woman.

We have to make the roses grow.

I saw a woman walking with a leash
 around the neck of a blue shadow                                                  
painting the dirty snow.

The only thing meaning
anything to me at the moment
are the starlings preening in the sun,
in the snowy cedar trees.

When I watch them
and their remarkable hunger
as the feeder on the front-deck
offers a variety of adored seeds.

All of this version, this depiction
to be taken as the life I am living
where some of those closest to me
are eager, are willing, continually to
take a stand for what I stand against.

The lies about an uprooted Muslim family
and all the Muslim families
that have stayed alive to make such a choice
I have no idea about, and I believe those
closest to me have no idea about.

How to find Canada, how to believe again
it is where a freedom is rampant,
it is where it is worth what it takes
to rebuild the lives of those families
who somehow have managed to say, 
“We can, and we will.”                                                            
Käthe Kollwitz, the Mothers of War.

Chad Norman’s most recent books are Squall: Poems in the Voice of Mary Shelley, released this spring by Guernica Editions, and Selected & New Poems, from Mosaic Press. He lives in Truro, Nova Scotia.

See also: Who I move beside, a poem by Chad Norman

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