Page 10 - A Selection from Song of Rita Joe, Autobiography of a Mi'Kmaq Poet
ISSUE : Issue 70
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/6/1
Grow slowly, Then fade away, to reappear again In a never-ending cycle. All this time, my husband worked hard, lived hard, and strug? gled to master our lot in life. I knew he felt like he was going nowhere and that our difficult life bothered him. But he tried his best • oh, he was such a hardworking man. I never saw any? one work as hard as Frank did. I remember when they were putting in a water line here in the community, and the men got paid forty dollars for each deep, six-foot-long trench they could dig in a day. It was bad enough to dig a trench, but Frank had to dig two so that he could eam eighty dollars a day. From dawn till dark, and sometimes even after dark, he'd work so that he I could eam those eighty APPLE Auto Glass SERVICE DIRECTORY • Windshields - Mobile service at no extra charge • Windshield Repairs - Stone bruises etc. • Auto Upholstery • Vinyl Tops • Convertible Tops 'Sun Roofs • Trailer Hitches • Van Accessories • Rear Sliders • Running Boards • Minors • Plate Glass • Thenno Units 1-800-506-5665 |PH: 564-6141 FAX: 562-811 45 Industrial Drive, Sydney 12 MONTHS INTEREST FREE] O.A.C. dollars. The trenches would be measured and the men would be paid at the end of the week • they were allowed to work five or six days a week. And at the end of the week Frank would be able to buy us things • blankets, pots, pans. I still have those pots and pans. At home, I continued to build up Frank's ego. Everything he did I praised, and everything I did was to please him and the children. The problem in all this was Frank's drinking. His fmstration became evident as he drank, and the beatings he gave me became a more frequent part of my life. Our children saw it all. They could not prevent it, but their love for me was what held me together. "Yi-ya (Does it hurt), Mom?" they would ask, touching my bmises. I often cried into their hair and wiped my tears on their clothes. When I hugged my children, I tred to find comfort in their love for the pain consuming my soul at that moment The battered women in all walks of life are there The ill-treatment we undergo, psyches us out Jumping to do our duties, reasoning love Obeying blindly, until it is too much to bear. At first I hid my hurt in long-sleeved blouses The ache in my heart driving lonely thoughts inward Believing the love words, dependent Our children there looking up to me Wanting to believe so very much, the love reward. This went on for years at first. Most of the time we WCTe compatible, friendly But liquor always got its way. My seventh child, Bemadette Isobel, was bom to us on April 7, 1959.1 remember her curly black hair and large, expressive eyes so well. This baby was joined in one year • on April 29, 1960 • 'by our daughter Frances, and again a few years later by Caroline, a ten-pound beauty bom on March 4,1963. The nurs? es at St. Rita's hospital in Sydney took her everywhere, show? ing her off. Because Frank worked there, they knew how much he admired his children. She was bom to us in early spring. A pretty daughter, my heart sang. Followed by othCTS, she was unique; Cape Breton Island. Once you Ve discovered our scenery, the rest is history. Cape Breton Islartd is renowned for its spectacular scenery, nwjes- tic nountains, quiet beaches, shimmering lakes and wave-battered cliffs. The island is home to a fascinating cultural and historical legacy. Nowhere is this blend of natural beauty and stimulating history more evident than in our National Parks and Historic Sites. Enjoy one of North America's most spectacular coastal drives on tiie Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Marvel at the genius of Alexander Graham Bell and Guglielmo Marconi. Step through the gates of the Fortress of Louisbourg and be transported into 18th-century New France. Relax and watch the boats go by on St. Peters Canal or discover the history of the cod fishery on Grassy Island. No matter what your pleasure. Cape Breton Island is prepared to delight. Feast your eyes on our vistas. Enjoy our living history and lively culture. Relax or challenge yourself on beach, boat, mountaui or hammock. Our history of great vacations is waiting to be discov? ered by you. For more information, call 1-800-213-PARK (or 7275) • ask for operator #22. CanadS Llle du Cap-Breton. C'est plus qu'une histoire de paysages. Le Cap-Breton, une ile aux paysages spectaculaires, aux plages tranquilles, aux lacs scintillants, aux falaises sculptees par la mer. Le Cap-Breton, xme ile riche en culture, riche en histoire. Les pares nationaux et les lieux historiques. C'est la ou la nature et le patrimoine se marient en beaute. Au pare national des Hautes-Terres-du-Cap-Breton, suivez le Ca? bot TraU, une des routes coti'res les plus spectaculaires de I'Amerique de Nord. Laissez-vous eblouir par le genie de Alexander Graiham Bell et Guglielmo Marconi. Passez la porte d'entr6e de la forteresse de Louisbourg et retrouvez le 18e siecle et la gloire de la Nouvelle- France. Au canal de St. Peters, regardez le mouvement tranquille des bateaux. A I'lle Grassy, decouvrez ITiistoire de la p??che k la morue. Quels que soient vos gouts, le Cap-Breton saura vous plaire. Ad- mirez nos paysages. Plongez-vous dans notre histoire. Laissez-vous charmer par la musique de notre culture. Que vous cherchiez le repos ou I'aventure, il y a ime plage, ime montagne, un bateau ou un hamac au Cap-Breton qui repondra k I'appel. Pour plus de renseignements, composez le 1-800-213-7275 et demandez le telephoniste 22. I llllf I Patrimoine canadien ?? T' ?? Pares Canada CanadS
Cape Breton's Magazine