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a smile in her eyes and a sunflower in her hair.* (retro_chica) wrote,
@ 2011-10-08 17:33:00
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    84th and 6th.
    29th and 43rd.
    Thin strips of street,
    they are our lattitude and
    longitude.

    They define what corner we are next to,
    if there's any decent bars nearby.
    In cities that feel mightier than a country,
    as powerful as the world itself,
    there are street names that mimic
    lines of geography.

    I live today where the Six Nations Confederacy used to
    hunt and gather their meals,
    rest their heads upon infinite fields of grass.
    Before my neighbourhood was named Britannia.

    I've heard people pay no mind to history.
    That it's just a side note in the broader spectrum of more important academic pursuits.
    Only monuments show us what is worth remembering.

    And to them I say, there is so much to remember
    that your brain choses to forget, ignore.

    Across my house people see an old school house,
    the testament and reason for Britannia being named so.
    I see, New France's small burst of success with the Catholic school across my street,
    St. Francis Xavier would be proud.

    I feel the Huron tribe's presence with the changing wind,
    when light flickers on the Hurontario street sign.

    And in our region, few know we are named after the famous Sir Robert Peel.
    That we are still to this day so heavily molded to look like Britain.
    Because these British names were the only way to show sovereignty
    after a confused, hallowing
    Seven Years War.

    We give community centres and plaza names after the names of prominent trees that grew nearby.
    Sandalwood, White Oaks,
    as if this is our way to go back in time and truly focus on history older than time itself.

    You know what future generations will say, will remember us by?
    The garbage mounds we made which will soon become ski hills.

    History is not what you make of it. It is not dates of a battle,
    not winners or losers.
    It is the earth upon which we walk that has lasted longer than us, and will outlive us.
    It is how she survived despite all our faults and greed.

    * * *

    Said the boy to his father, knee deep in a marsh, "but Pop! This thing is yucky, and smelly. There's no life in here at all!"

    Said the father to the boy, "I could never show you how wrong you are".


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