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> Issue 70 > Page 15 - A Selection from Song of Rita Joe, Autobiography of a Mi'Kmaq Poet

Page 15 - A Selection from Song of Rita Joe, Autobiography of a Mi'Kmaq Poet

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/6/1 (258 reads)

of solidarity. "They did at that," he said and the two became fast friends. "You two are good people," he told us. When we were settling in for the night, Frank was restless. "I'm going to get some lunch," he said. "Lock the door behind you," I told him, "because I'm taking a shower and going to sleep." During the night, I awoke a few times and saw Frank sitting up. "Go to sleep," he would say. Each time, I rolled over and went back to sleep. In the morning, I tried to get up without waking Frank, but he opened his eyes. "What time did you finally get to sleep?" I asked. "After the sixth Tum," he replied. He got up and asked me to make tea while he showered. I made the tea and put raisin bran in a bowl for him. I could hear him in the shower; I remember he hollered when the hot water ran out "How do I look?" he asked afterwards, standing before me in a very white shirt and tan-coloured pants. ''Me'tasim. (You smell romantic)." "Oh, you're just saying that," he said and we both laughed, happy in our togetherness. He lifted a small bag. "I'll put the stuff in the car while you clean up." In a moment, I heard the car door slam. Frank came inside, holding his chest "Ke'snukay, Rita (I'm sick, Rita)." "Sit down. I'll put the stuff in the car." Frank sat on the edge of the bed and his eyes told me of the pain he felt Then the look in them told me of the love he had for me and his sadness in leaving me. He fell back on the bed. I ran outside. The cleaning lady for the rooms was there. "Call Good Service Sor Our Neighbours and Our Visitors HILLTOP TRAILER SERVICES and AUTO GLASS • complete line of RV parts & accessories • service to all makes & models of trailers • canvas repair & replacement, boat tops, etc. • windshield repair & replacement • custom accessories; sunroofs, running boards, etc. WE DO IT ALL AND 'tS??WJSfSM Trans-Canada Highway WE DO IT RIGHT! W'UUiliWm BRAS D'OR PHOTO CREDIT: CAROL KENNEDY an ambulance," I yelled at her. I ran back in to Frank. As I stood over him, waiting for his convulsion to pass, I saw him sigh and relax. I felt a whiff of cold air, as if it was passing through me. Without thinking, I even raised my eyes to the ceiling, expecting to see Fraiik's passing. "Then, 'Kogo'ey we- jinkalin (Why did you leave me)?'" I hollered at the still form. Copyright ?? Rita Joe, from Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi'kmaq Poet. Reprinted with permission from the publisher: Ragweed Press, PO Box 2023, Charlottetown, PEI CIA 7N7. Our thanks to Louise Flemming and Inga B. Petri, Ragweed Press, for permission to offer this selection from this new book, Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi'kmaq Indian. This book is avalla- ble through bookstores across Cana da and is *-if i_, published in the United States by Uni versity of ''jSff f Nebraska Press. Prk:e $16.95. MacNEILS MOTEL comSoTtaiAe and affordable accommodations ??fMI35iVi=L'I,1J3IJJi:f??1llgUH.1il.lJJ=l=i? Trans-Canada Highway 105, Bras d'Or, Cape Breton BOC 1B0 17 UNITS COLOUR CABLE T.V. ELECTRIC HEAT • some with microwaves & refrigerators • Overlooking the Bras d'Or Lakes (902) 736-9106 • (902) 736-2692 "Wfi DELiCiOUS HOMEMADE HAND-ROLLED CONES Udder Delight Ice Cream Caboose 18 FLAVOURS of Old Fashioned ice cream • YOGURT BLENDED WITH FRESH FRUIT • Slush Cones • SOFT-SERVE CONES > BEAUTIFUL, RELAXING VIEW • lOld General Storel at Bras d'Or Come visit... a Working Old Country Store Established in 1907 in a Beautiful Atmosphere • FRUITS • VEGGIES • BAKING • GIFTS DELI • HOME DECORATING ITEMS • CRAFTS Something for everyone • and the feel of yesterday. I Sonn 'lJ Stroll the Board'walk at Bras d'Or
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