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Pays de L’eau #4 by James Morehead

July 3, 2011

Pays de L’eau #4

by James Morehead

breakfast is cold soggy cereal
the pancake mix is repacked
deeper
waiting for sunshine

damp canoes provide us no shelter
the steady paddling rhythm continues
we pull away onto deep water
i only hear pellets of rain against my encased head
the air smells damp and thick
every breeze eats through vinyl wool and layered cotton

i wait for the sun
i remember my house in toronto
sitting warm watching rain behind glass

   -----

it's my turn to help marty find firewood
i am unprepared for scrounging
hunting for twigs and branches
marty laughs
slinging an axe over his shoulder
pulling a canoe to the water
we cross to an island
marty scans it for fuel
i follow behind him silent
                                        ignorant
watching from a distance
his steel blade ripping into a dead pine tree
severed
              falling
                        crashing
i scurry with logs
filling the canoe
as he eats through the tree branches and trunk
avoiding marty's swinging axe
                                          awed

   -----

sunshine returns
we thank it
approaching our first portage

it isn't food
father explains
it's hard work

i worry about this
                            paddling seems like hard work
we pull ourselves our canoes and packs
onto the shore
john says it's a short portage
over this hill
                    less than a mile
we're lucky
i carefully choose the lightest box
the fathers balance canoes between them
heads hidden
i try not to laugh at these bizarre four legged creatures
i'd rather carry wannigans
but my light load quickly gets heavier

Next in Pays de L’eau…

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