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 cyclists

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.

 

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