It had become History; with it there was now
no variableness neither shadow of turning.
Saturated with imperialist condescension,
she wrote of Native awe at the
written word making permanent
what had previously been unfixed.
I, who has been surrounded by written words my whole life,
in my childhood bedroom, with shelves
made from cinder blocks and plywood;
in my house growing up, with my father’s thrillers and my mother’s novels;
in my schools, with teachers fostering my gifts to climb up and out;
in this town now, with its abundant used book stores
where one can graze for hours of delight;
I am struck by that very same awe.
How my poet’s version of our lover’s quarrel
trumps your fading memory
for having put pen to paper.
Yes, history is written by the victors.
Yet written or otherwise,
my words will never bring you back.
(cc) Karen G. Johnston