top of page
Algonquin Park 
1.  Lake of Two Rivers Campground, 1960
Press, press 
the blue rubber bulb, each wheeze 
to keep me going. 
I sing songs from school, quiet
in my head,
switch one foot for the other,
press, press again.
Just out of sight, the lake
cool, silken water, 
calls, voices of children 
come through the trees
from the beach.
Pump, pump and fill
and fill, air mattresses -
for my mother,
for my brother, 
for me, 
for my father, his
long heavy weight.
He sweats,  
over poles , canvas, ropes and pegs,
digs trenches.
Mattresses full, my next job -
Put each one carefully
in its place.
Unroll sleeping bags neatly.
Carry in suitcases, lay them down 
where they belong.
Mum unpacks, 
picnic cloth, food, Coleman stove, camping plates,
makes supper,
hums to herself,  
swats mosquitoes.
My brother too young 
to do much, he
holds tent pegs.
The hard pop of a can opener
on a bottle of beer,
my father’s inspections, 
my mother’s voice saying,
Enough.  It’s enough.  
Let them go.

Photo by: Gloria Fern

2.  Lake of Two Rivers East Beach, 2015
This quiet lake cool 
under slant golden light, 
its brown water whispers, sips
at small rocks and logs. 
My brother and me, returned
in deep shelter of trees, our older bodies
spare, familial,
bent toward earth,
offering ashes.
Beside us the lake, white bones of driftwood,
moss at our feet,
How gently he took
my hand in his,
bent to the water,
washed from our hands 
what grey dust still clung .
Algonquin Park I.jpg

Photo by: Joëlle Morgan

Published in:  Arc Poetry Journal  85 Winter 2018, pp. 103-106
bottom of page