7 Glory Hills Drive, Stony Plain, Alberta
my mother kept birds in little cages
insignificant blue pet shop parakeets
who chirped in unmanageable tiny hoots
among the dozens of summery flowers
that my mother kept in the kitchen
my mother hated the frozen months in Alberta,
hated watching the icy Winter
drag flowers and birds and Summer into snow and dirt.
my father was never a violent man
he led his flock on Sunday mornings
and Monday through Saturday
put old farmer's wives in the dirt-
those who'd come to the end of their canola harvests.
my father only lost his temper once
flew into a rage and left a permanent monument to his anger
by putting a grim shoe through the kitchen door.