Growing Up in the Suburbs of Toronto


Growing up in the suburbs
     	of Toronto
my earliest memory was taking the transit

I remember begging my parents
for a window seat
on the bus,
a small hand 
     	against the dirt-ridden pane
catching my fading reflection
staring back
      street lights
being blinded by the sun

I remember the elevator up
the C.N. Tower
     	My heart 
      against my chest
and parents’ smiles,
and standing
on the glass floor
looking down
     	at people tinier than me 
  walk by.

I remember being scared,
of something
I didn’t understand.
I remember the ferry rides
  to Centre Island
     	waves in the lake 
smaller than me,
slipping under the boat
me rocking the boat,
rocking the lake.

I remember the Eaton Centre,
as it swallowed me whole,
and how it surprised me to see,
all the legs
      their feet
      and their shoes
     and slippers 
and I remember looking up,
through the glass ceiling,
(as the sun’s rays cascaded through and through)
at birds that sailed 
     	on a higher plane.

I remember the cold water of Lake Ontario,
and swimming out,
while my parents got in only shin-deep
and stood
      the size of my thumb.
I remember beads of water,
some easing off my face
     others resting
and the waves 
cradling me to 
      and from shore.

I remember the stars—
little bulbs that God switched
when the sun
      came up—
and I remember the moon,
still made of cheese.

I remember flashes
of the subway
(and eyes closing)
and the bus
(and eyes closing)
my feet moving
      my mind frozen
(and eyes closing)
being wrapped under the blanket,
the cold comfort of the pillows
(and eyes closing.)

Today, I remember everything
      as it moves to my peripheral
(eyes closing)
and I rush

like after busses at their stops and trains at their stations
      to write it down
(eyes closing)
because tomorrow’s a new day
  and tomorrow
      I might forget.

Eyes closed.