Back in the spring I picked up a flyer about the annual William Henry Drummond award while in the Chat Noir bookstore in New Liskeard, ON, and entered. I'd almost forgotten about it when I got a phone call saying that I was a runner-up. The thoughts in the poem are again in my mind as I have just returned from a visit to Northeastern Ontario.
(c) Ruth Latta, 2010
From Liverpool our grandfolks took a ship
and left an old world cul-de-sac behind -
a bold endeavour, but an anxious trip
to start a future in a silver mine.
With shovel, axe, and needle, fingers numb
they built themselves a life so long ago.
With thoughts of generations yet to come
they braved the keening wolves and drifting snow;
And we, the generations, followed dreams
and left the north to be what we could be,
but poplars' whisper as the moonlight gleams
are vivid in our soul and memory;
Bound to the north by silver cobweb ties,
a curl of wood smoke and the blue jays' cries.