When I was a young and single woman
I lived on Hope and coffee, downtown.
In the shadow of highrises, grass and affection were difficult to find.
Stumbled into love and commitment,
Crossed the bridge for a charmer from the South.
From his cottage on Gentilly is where he worked his magical powers.
He had a patch of lawn already, while I added the flowers.
We blessed every room, as I remember, but what else did we do with our time?
The waters, like the siren to the sailor,
Called me closer to Bord-de-l’eau.
Worked hard, loved harder, laughed hardest while feathering the nest.
Made our vows in the autumn with a party in the garden,
And a perfect baby was born the next July.
Revelled in all the firsts; first breath, first teeth, first tentative
Slobbery kisses and words.
Never suspecting what the future held in store.
We had it all, and wanted more.
River lost its luster. Womb, like the wind became bitter,
Evicted precious tenant #2.
Just down the road the promise of brighter days.
Our Union grew, despite disappointment 3 and 4.
Then another smiling baby boy landed at our door.
The feedings and diapers, tantrums and tears
It’s all a blurr really, those young mother years.
Sandbox, tricycles, kites and picnics in the park.
Walks to pre-school, baking cookies and fireworks in the dark.
Then came the tests and diagnosis.
Stress replaced sleep, worries of prognosis.
Denial morphed into too much information.
Fuses were short, words lobbed like grenades.
Wine became self medication
While doling out the bandaids.
But some wounds can never heal.
Can this be happening,
is this for real?
Bones grow softer, hair turns grey.
Children grow up while our eyes fade.
I am heartbroken, and still I stay.
Things change. Nothing is the same.
Yet again, a new street name.
Our cute little cul-de-sac, where there is nowhere to run and hide.
Lifted my gaze, amazed and pleased you were still by my side.
In each other, I think, we have found
The strength to stand our ground.
I placed my heart in your hands,
Where it felt safe and at home.