Word came through my father last Sunday Calgary zero snow freezing in spring Word came my uncle dead. Said Aunt Mary from Two Hills, northeast Alberta, he just ate breakfast, sat in his easy chair by the tv, exhaled a final breath to the long peaceful Universe. From the kitchen window they could gaze towards the wine colored grain elevator he ran forty years, happily pouring orange wheat down a tin shaft, coopering freight cars to send bread to Shanghai, Calcutta, my Tokyo supermarket. Unfreeze the concrete ground with torch and flame Bury him with fishing rod beside his favorite shot gun Put lottsa feed on the table for friends and great great grandchildren: Aunt Marys cabbage rolls, boiled potatoes smothered in thick farm cream, roasted Polish sausage, smoked pork, plump young roosters stuffed with corn meal, potato dumplings covered in fried onions and sour cream, plenty of wild blueberry pie. Toast Uncle with big glasses of rye and ginger ale. Sing Ukrainian songs, play cymbala, balalyka, accordion. Remember curling bonspiels, Moose Lake, Christmas dinner, all the strange tales and funny stories. Recall his mother and father, settlers on the granite poplar hills now levelled by Huttersite bulldozers; his brothers and sisters waiting in heaven.

Tokyo Wed 05/08/02


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