The Uniform of the Dispossessed

By Emma LaRocque, b.1949, Métis/Canada.

Sometimes I forget
so I buy soft things
surround my hard-won world
with synthetics
pastels
cushions
and Zamfir.

Sometimes I forget
so I go to theatre
surround my hard-won world
with cafes
espresso coffee
truffles
and Brubeck.

Sometimes I forget
so I buy books and brandy
surround my hard-won world
with ceramic thoughts
with silk shirts
modular sofas of burgundy
that match
          that hide
          the sorrow of the past
          the sorrow of woman
          the sorrow of the native
          the sorrow of the earth
          the world that is with me
          in me
          of me.

Sometimes I forget
the combatant who has deserted

But I get recalled
Remembering
the uniform of the dispossessed
and like a court-martialled soldier
I cannot evade.

Sometimes I want to run
But I can’t –
   I can’t
      I can’t.

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