Poem for the Camp
by Nic Olson
Three flags whip and crack
over the Ledge like Canada Day celebrations
or hangfire warning shots
It’s Deano’s 52nd
we go to McDonalds after an hour
deliberating where he wouldn’t get kicked out, if alone. We talk
about Willie Nelson. He eats a BigMac,
I finish his fries.
I used to come to the Ledge to rev the engine at rabbits
padding along the asphalt
at things I didn’t really get
Deano and I talk
about finding bikes in dumpsters. Later, alone,
I stop at a grocery store alley
find an unopened pizza and wonder
which of these dumpsters he might’ve been sleeping in
the moment the trash was picked up
and the compactor closed.
One time with a girl
through a crack in the stairs
I saw someone move in the Legislative basement
like a dungeon
keeper of secrets I had yet to learn
bigger than a limestone building
I sit in the cold, consider
what it would feel like to have my body valued
like expired frozen pizza
or my blood used
to restore the big copper dome.
Toes and head numb, I add more wood to the illegal sacred fire
and think about Willie Nelson.
-Regina SK, March 16, 2018
(Justice for Our Stolen Children Camp, Treaty 4)
This poem was first published in Tour Book #2.