6TH ISSUE LITERATURE

BANDAID ON THE SIDEWALK

Chad Norman

For Graham

One day how
the future may sound
could be echoes
of children’s footsteps
overtaking the ears
on my oversized head–
remember, it is actually spring
when the ditches begin to sing.

Isn’t it timely how
the sun lights up
all the white hairs
on a black sweater.

One day the
sidewalk looks wounded
all the leaves
dead in pools of rain
fallen weeks back
without a season I crave,
my feet need, covered up by
perhaps, the numerous injuries
left unseen like Nature’s worries?

A cover up
maybe, but doubtful
as I am growing certain the “we”
has grown more
aware for some reason–
I guess I just want
to believe in you,
all of those who are children.

I have decided to
not peel it back–
already knowing
the wounds of the world.

Strangely the students
play recorders outside,
songs drift through
then I can’t decide
when such sounds
become reminders:
I don’t know at the moment
but quickly I hear
voices asking
to peel off the bandaid,
peel it off,
dares posed by
those who’ll take over,

those who can never hear what I do,
voices saying we will help others
coming to Canada for safer lives,
but we placed that bandaid there
on purpose, to help our future, to
find those who know about Inclusion.

I want to peel it off the sidewalk.
I want to take it off the world.
I won’t be the one man scared of wounds.

When will we evolve?
To be, simply, loving?
Who gives their essence to skin?
Are we so limited when colour must be sullied?
Remember, children have put a bandaid
on the sidewalk where I was stopped,
where I’d never believe hatred
is, could, or will ever be a fashion.

Chad Norman lives beside the high-tides of the Bay of Fundy, in what is known as the hub of Nova Scotia. He has given talks and readings in Denmark, Sweden, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, America, and across Canada. His poems continue to appear in publications around the world and have been translated into Danish, Albanian, and Romanian. His latest collections are Selected & New Poems ( Mosaic Press, Oakville, Ontario, Canada), and Waking Up On The Wrong Side Of the Sky (Grant Block Press, Truro, N.S.,Canada). A new collection, Squall: Poems In The Voice Of Mary Shelley, is due out Spring, 2020.