Lawson Roy at Queen’s General
Them crackers on the bed tray,
they’re for the horses.
We used to cut hay
on the island
n sell it off
to the main.
Didn’t do a solitary thing without a boat.
Salty grass, but that’s all was wrong with it,
so we brought the cattle off to graze
on shore for a spell each summer.
Just dreamt bout a horse, bout father n one thing another.
Book’s end, there’s four of em. I mean—the horse’s got four legs.
This pale mare’s standin in the Cape Islander n I’m drainin my waters
over the stern, into the ocean. That slicker
we’re buyin er from, Dad knows im.
I get a sinkin feelin Dad’s already dead,
n reckon that in all our days
we ain’t ever owned or needed no horse.
Then woke up to you standin there.
Devil knows what’ll take place.
Cory Lavender is a poet from Nova Scotia, Canada. This piece is one of a series of works written in the voice of Cory’s maternal grandfather, Lawson Roy, who grew up on Port Mouton Island.