I’m from Toronto
Unless you’ve heard of Peterborough?
I’m from there, at least
It’s where my brother brews stoney beer
Where my grandma lives beside the wal-mart alone
Famous for her (shhhh-bipolar) smooches.

Unless you’ve heard of Lindsay?
I’m from there, at least
That’s where I went to high school
Drank warm, milky whiskey from a recycled jug
Shared with friends on the street laughing.

Unless you’ve heard of Bobcaygeon?
I’m from there, at least
My mom works at the shoe store on the corner
My dad has a boat parked where
A hip band once saw some constellations.

Unless you’ve heard of Omemee?
I’m from there, at least
It’s where my bothers and I learned to swim
watched Canada Day fireworks
went grocery shopping with my gran.
(fact: it’s also where Neil Young got polio)

Ever heard of Downeyville?
I’m from there, at least
it’s where my heart is
sober static memories
of an evening clover field
a lonely girl with an empty baseball glove
a whispered promise it gets better
after the game, a smile
for the red ten cent freeze.


I wrote this after a friend teased me about how I dealt with telling people how I grew up. I moved to a tourist town where the conversation was always the same;

“So, where are you from?”
“um, do you Know where Toronto is?”
“Sweet, I’m from close to to Toronto.”

I have gotten down the line to where someone actually knew where Omemee was (never Downeyville though) and I always feel connected to these people in some way, they know a bit of where I came from, where my family live, where my heart is.


8 thoughts on “Downeyville”

      1. Thanks Moma #2!!!! If you really think so…..I think I will, but you know me well. It’s had for me to commit to anything beyond a day or two…(how I snagged a husband and kids, I’ll never know!! lol:)))


  1. Love this so relatable for us ‘City of Kawartha Lakers’… We all live our lives or have lived our lives in any one of these little towns and they make their mark… Your writing is really a pleasure to read – keep it comin!!!


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