This piece was selected to be part of Hello, Neighbour, a community engagement project that takes six pieces of writing from residents of Toronto, and uses them as inspiration for six new works by local artists.
Join us Saturday Feb. 23rd, 2019 2-5pm for a day of performances by the artists, hosted by Nana aba Duncan of CBC’s Fresh Air.
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HUMBER SHELTER by Redgina Jean-Paul
When I walk this arboretum it is often pitch black blistered soil under a veiled celestial light.
Once the cyclists, joggers and other wanderers have left the pavement barren –silent I walk my shelter in hopes a deer or fox or fallen song sparrow nest will whisper which way to go next.
More often than not I choose Mercury Rd. Bridge or Goose Island lay wide-eyed still eavesdropping on River who makes love to eroding rock and grovels for Moon to take them back.
When I walk this arboretum it is nighttime pastime fun playing Russian roulette with my life, taunting faith to mark me, careless unlucky soul; “This is Rexdale after all.” a concerned man once said from the shadow of the bus stop shack. My Mom, always a tongue-lashing away from keeping me homebound has never questioned my love of these trees and this water.
We live in a glass house full of devil’s ivy, mother-in-law’s tongue, spider plant; we welcome nightmares wrapped in mirrors, shelter them from Canadian winter’s scorn, offer them jasmine tea. It’s a family tradition to let little girls roam free at all hours in glass slippers for there isn’t a bad thing out there that hasn’t already happened right here.