Island Highway (poem)


Island Highway The older man at my table said he’d built the Island Highway his office in the same building where we now lunched Victoria’s Parliament Building Group tour, seniors mostly Lunch sandwiched in between Robert Bateman’s Gallery and a scenic drive He said the road had two lanes in the 40’s He was an engineer, planning, drawing, building a province with less need for horses and more for horsepower Back on the bus, the tour guide pressed on I saw the rocky outcrops dotted with trees hanging tightly with gnarled roots exposed holding on in the face of wind and wet winters You drove here once, coming to greet us when we walked off the ferry, meeting us at the top of the escalator your eyes bright with welcome You took us to the home you’d built first stopping at the gallery of a Coast Salish artist on First Nations land I found a framed print of an eagle flying she called it “Vision Quest” How many times you’d driven that Island Highway, How few I had, and now all I could remember was the time we came to say goodbye The rocks, the trees, the seas their sharp edges cutting into my soft memories of this person with ideas so big you saw beyond the grasping daily grind The woman who longed to hold her premie baby, crying and alone So you made the nurses break the rules Let her hold her baby She remembers you So many remember you Now you fly above the Island Highway free of all constraints of humanness You still fly with the eagles Now you soar with the stars

1 thought on “Island Highway (poem)

  1. Re-issued this to improve the audio. So good to be able to hear everything!

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