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Poem of the Month - December 2002
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The Treaties
from Gathering Wild

Lady Simcoe to this hour
moves in grace among the savages
sheened in the glow of bonfires
set on the shore to fish salmon at night.
She watches them
from a high bluff.

When autumn comes she roams days long
under maples torched with fire
stepping lightly still
over leaf-lost trails
through a haze which is
the smoke of autumn mountains.

Even in winter her laughter rings out
from the bishop's palace at Québec
where great box stoves
are stoked to red heat for the ball.

Flushed she cries gaily
'Throw open the door.
There is just paper now --
a sheet of brown paper
between ourselves and hell.'

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