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Lake Ontario Park

by Sadiqa de Meijer

P.S. You will Do well to try to Innoculate the Indians by means of Blanketts, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race.
      — General Jeffery Amherst in a letter dated July 16, 1763

Over the warming ground, swings toll like clock tower bells.
Squirrels spiral the trunk of a pine.
We fill a pail with sand.
The day is robin's eggshell fine.

My mother's shoulder had three shallow scars.
Shining archipelago.
The quiet theaters of our lives.
Immune is a sung word, skirting sorrow.

Kneeling at no registry of toddlers with amorphous voices.
Night sweats without monument.
The lake has the sea on its breath.
One man has an island.

Cover of Leaving Howe Island

This poem was originally published in the July/August issue of Poetry, and it also appears in Sadiqa de Meijer's 2013 debut collection Leaving Howe Island. You may listen to the poet reading this work on the Poetry Foundation website.

The Poetry Blackboard showcases poems curated by Kingston's Poet Laureate, Helen Humphreys, and written by Kingston poets. There's a new poem every month, written by poets living and dead, historical and contemporary, published and unpublished, adults and children, giving full range to the cultural voice of Kingston.

See all of the poems previously published on The Poetry Blackboard