One Hundred.

Could I recall these letters in their fullness
And the years they have spanned, I would find
Two tiny hands scrambling, surveying small pockets
Hoping to trace their form from cue cards mum tucked into
Each, in a bid to aid the little girl who couldn’t spell her surname
Reading Babar the Elephant with her dad
In the shade of a peach printed sheet hung from the apple tree
Near the trampoline while Chester prowled for sparrows, paws padding
Emerald patches of lawn down in the shape of feline crop circles.

Jesus Christ, that second act Romeo, the bright
Early dawn of a new day, sharp as a hatchet cutting down
All remnants of those woeful, dark trees and
Nettles I was lost in, in want of map or compass.

For every year I froze at the farm
Little hands prying for fossils in the hills
Excavating ice covered puddles, climbing
Mountains before tea with the dogs
In oversized gumboots red-rimmed, and toed
Nearly tripping over my feet, trusting I’d
“Grow into them,” just like the rest of myself.

Shakespeare’s rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but me?
I disagree, and cling
Even more to the delicate petals of
Truth behind these names,
Katryzyna, and Colleen-Jean passed down
Imagining new dreams
Each time my old ones get lived, or lost so that
Wherever I go
I wear them as badges of honour on my lapels
Carrying the women who gave me them in my heart, with
Zeal plastered across my face.

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