For my grandfather

ruins of the windmill

Each year, the city’s tendrils creep closer
to the ruins of the farmhouse of your
birth. Our family’s firstborn Canadian.

When you were only two weeks old,
the census taker spelled your name wrong,
unable to understand your parents.

No matter. You thrived like the prairie grasses
and now I am here: more than a hundred
years later, only a few miles away,

part of these urban rhythms, bearing witness
as this city that was your future consumes
my past beneath this holy, expansive sky.

the old Kublik farm
Dad shows my brother, sister-in-law and I the layout of his grandparents’ house near Ellerslie, Alberta. Photo credits: Gladys Kublik, 2009.


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