Christmas Sparklebug

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Glitter, Sparkles, Santa
Flying reindeer, miracles
happen all the time
When it’s Christmas
at least
That’s what I seem to be feeding
my family
Christmas shot straight into
the bloodstream
through the TV
mounted on the wall, flat.
Then frown and scold
when they act like junkies
glazed over greedy eyes
hands full of plastic candy
ungratefully begging for another fix
When it’s all over
they ask me
where was the magic mom?

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To whom it may concern;

I’m a bit sad today
I tried to skype you
But it’s tomorrow afternoon
where you’re at
so you’re at work

Instead
I remembered
How we’ve laughed
Giggled into the night
When we thought our moms were sleeping tight
(Like they were never little girls!)
Shared solemn secrets
Through tears that fell
Pinky swore we’d never tell

As we grew it became apparent
We had challenges to overcome
Words said in anger never(!)
To be undone
Until we matured and learned
Our differences didn’t matter
We were, in fact, transparent

Now you’re married to a man
Who eats kiwis
He makes you laugh
Your eyes all sparkley
I’m happy for you
Though I miss you everyday
for the second in time
when we were simply
Complicated, giggle full
Little girls

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Mountain Town

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In this mountain town
we escape into fake real life
under rundle rocks and worm dirt,
over somebody else’s grandma’s vintage dress shirt.

Slouchy toques and mukluks
lounge in this cool crowd as they
sip tea, watch music, clap politely,
dance lonely
in choreographed abandon.

Gaze starry-eyed at the full moon perched
on the peak of the middle Sister,
hug everybody meaninglessly all the time,
awkwardly warm and stiff.

Capture fragrant distasteful puffs of reality,
plug nose and open ears to a happy banjo!
eyes to a blog about mountain themed knitting.
Generate a meaningful tattoo from the Internet.
Full social media points
when skin is lost completely.

Buy a four hundred and fifty thousand dollar “manufactured home”,
a trailer with a basement and a hot tub.
A garden of rocks and wasps.
Utility right-of-way sits on the fence,
while voices call before they dig.

Children are escorted by busy, guilty parents in Chariots
complete with shocks and brake pads by moms,
running ultra mountain marathons wearing makeup they deny.
Dads fade away slowly on distant treks,
straight up from outside their front door.

In this town,
balanced on the gate of the Canadian Rockies
every picture is a postcard.
Say “cheese!”

Snowprints

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Silent breathless blanket
greets my surprised sleepy eyes,
as I leave the sidewalk and light behind
to find the way unsettled.

The vast moon shimmers
reflected from the Three Sisters
lost in the glitter full ground
Alive! Underneath my black winter boots.

Shadows escape depth perception,
solid forms melt away laughing.
Was that tree always where it appears now,
deviously hiding it’s frozen roots under powder?
I’m sure it will have moved this time tomorrow.

My boots weave their way
to the light of a bridge and cross over.
Relieved and weary I merge with other snowprints,
from a moment darker than mine
soon diluted by throbbing sober daylight.

His confident treaded boots weave masterfully close
to her treacherous exclamation point
exclamations!
She slips and I wonder
about the power of a party to transform
the innocent into fearless mountain trolls.

When I reach the place where he saves her
in a whirling drunken pile of prints,
I can’t help but giggle, what a Hero!
They dared claim ownership over this valley
with a dress coat and suit,
lost in each others joyful insignificance.

Alone again, smiling
on this ordinary,
extraordinary walk to work.

ninaoneill

It had just snowed and I was in awe at my surroundings as I took the shortcut to work at 6am to cook breakfast for hungover Sunday Funday locals. I followed those footprints lit up by the full moon reflected off the mountains. Seriously though, who walks gravel trails with heels? Mountain girls that’s who! It is still my funnest memory of my morning commute.

Downeyville

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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.

ninaoneill

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?”
“…..Kinda”
“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.