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There was a painting, in a small oval frame

In my grandmother’s house, of a sailing ship


Crossing the ocean, and I can’t remember

The waves, but there was also another


Frame, a photo, of a boy in a sailor suit,

Who wasn’t her, but her father, I think,


And they were on the kitchen wall, right by

Where she once dropped me when


I was little, so my teeth cut through

My lower lip, and I needed stitches,


And that still perceptibly shows, barely,

And they’d drink tea and have bacon sandwiches


Slathered with HP sauce, and when I was four

Or five, and they talked about the old country,


Meaning Ireland, or my grandfather’s London,

This was in Montreal by the way, actually


My Uncle’s house but he let her live there,

Because my grandfather had died on a golf course


Under a tree, during a storm, where he taught

The game to wealthier men, of heart failure,


I would look at the painting and imagine waves,

Dark rolling dark waves, and how cold


How terrifically deep cold and lonely

The waves were, and how lonely the sailing was,


And I’d feel a chill run through me, that felt like

A future, where I would have travelled far


From the warmth, and hilarity of those occasions,

To a place of dark waves and rolling dark waves


On top of dark waves, and it felt like England,

I thought that is what England would be like, then.





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