“containing faces like my own”

two women

Among my father’s effects was an old Avon box with papers and a few photographs, all unsorted. I’d never seen these things until after my parents died and yet they have become my ballast as I enter my sixties, wanting to know the places left behind by my grandparents and what their early lives in Canada were like. An archive of the deep past containing faces like my own, languages I’ll never speak, a memory of rain on a tin roof in a shack in Beverly where my grandparents lived after leaving Drumheller, lilacs against the porch.

—from “Ballast”, an essay in Euclid’s Orchard, forthcoming from Mother Tongue Publishing, September 2017.

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