Sitting on the edge of the bed
waiting for gravity to return. You are
the first thing I see each morning
towering some 60 feet
above the church’s roof on North Winton Avenue;
your massive limbs like granite columns
cretaceous arms raised in glory
here before the church, before
this bedroom window,
before any of this. Here when
forest stretched to the Ontario shoreline
and the last Seneca roamed the banks
of the Genesee River;
witness to sidewalks showered in rice and
caskets carried to and from hearses waiting in black;
shelter to squirrel dynasties
walled in the language of leaves;
somehow you escaped
becoming a pyre for native rituals
or appearing in showrooms as cabinetry or flooring.
You’ve watched me dress and undress,
leave and return, pack and unpack;
and you’ve seen me climb the stairs
after a liter of Amsterdam’s finest.
You’ve caught me
spying on the neighbor
hoping to catch a glimpse
of his bare torso;
counting steps in the ink of night
for a bladder that refuses to empty. You’ve seen
the blessings and betrayals
of this bedroom
heard the ghosts wail for something
that once lived
between these sheets.
Still, there you stand
with roots that raise cement
and bark that heals
after lightening’s flash.
You go on to ace
every test of survival
a monument here to welcome
the non-believers,
the lost and strayed,
a pier to the divine
a reminder that my time with him,
despite all of its twisted ends
is still a song of truth, of love.
It renews.
And it will never be silenced.