“As the cab works its way” by Sasha at her desk

Monday January 27, 2019
4:01pm
5 minutes
Hello, Goodbye
Brady Emerson

As the cab works it’s way around the corner, I press my face up to the glass. Mama will make me clean it with vinegar and newspaper. She always knows when it’s me and when it’s Bailey. The dog doesn’t have to clean up after himself, but he gets put in the laundry room until he whines enough that Mama feels bad. Daddy packed a larger suitcase than usual so I asked him how long he’d be gone for this time. “Not sure, honeybunch,” he said, sad like the day Grampa Jones died. How he could not be sure, I don’t understand but I shouldn’t have to given that I’m only just starting Grade Four. Mama knows that Daddy might be gone until the snow comes, so she hugs Bailey in bed for a long time and I have peanut butter and jelly for dinner.

“super slinky.” by Julia at her desk


Sunday May 14, 2017
9:47pm
5 minutes
from the pack of guitar strings

Keaton brings home a box under his arm, covered by his coat,
he hopes for the sound of running
Daddy’s home, the moment they’ve all be waiting for
Dawn usually hears the car door and knows
Delia sometimes comes outside if Iris lets her
there is a silence where the noise should be
there is a box for the girls but there are no girls
for the box
Keaton calls out, Daddy’s home!
no one responds
Iris!
nothing
He sets down the box next to the broken floor lamp
Iris says if we don’t trip over it every
day we’ll never think to take it out
He walks slowly, the house creaking with empty
Iris?
a wash of dread pulls him under
he doesn’t know what to do
Suddenly the peep peep of a toddler unable to keep
a secret
another laugh, then
SURPRISE!!
Happy Birthday Daddy!

“For twenty-five years my father” by Julia on the 99


Thursday January 26, 2017
5:21pm
5 minutes
In Recognition Of A Quarter Century Of Contribution To UMA
Curtis LeBlanc


Spaghetti is his favourite dish
Doesn’t matter how many new things he’s tried, he’ll tell you, if you ask him, that it’s spaghetti
Me too, I would chime in, loving very much the idea of having the same favourite food as my father’s
Me too, I would say, when he’d crack open a chile pepper with his teeth
He cooks the way I do
My mother says I cook like him
Not sure these days if it’s Can’t Follow A Recipe or Won’t
We both like inventing
Never making the exact same thing twice
We didn’t grow up with Daddy’s Girl in my house
Maybe because there were two girls
Maybe because my older sister was Daddy’s Girl until I was born
and then there were two of us so they had to give their thing up before I could figure it out
Maybe because it took 25 years
for me to realize that
he was mine
and I was his but
in my own way and
so was she and
so was my brother after me and
so was everything everything

“Abundance” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 1, 2015
4:38pm
5 minutes
from a vintage matchbook

Daddy and little girl
Playing with new tricycle and puppy
Good man
Good good man
And the ball bouncing one two three
Happiness until the air runs out
Mommy comes with belly full of baby new
Big sister runs and jumps
Daddy pushes little girl on swing
WEEE!
HIGHER!
Laughing and family growing
Tell me when you get cold!
Mommy and puppy new keep their watchful eyes open
Little girl dragging tricycle along
Can’t ride it if you don’t get back on!
Daddy kneels down next to little girl
I’m right beside you, don’t be afraid.
Mommy and belly baby new, Daddy and little girl smile

“Sure thing sugarsnap” by Julia at Nicole’s table


Thursday, September 4, 2014
11:22pm
5 minutes
a text message

daddy used to call me sweetie and it used to make me laugh
daddy used to call me sweetie and now it makes me cry
he stayed with me on the night my monsters kept me
he stayed with me there when i got lost in the sheets
he stayed with me just outside the bathroom while I counted the tiles
daddy used to call me sweetie and it used to make me laugh
daddy used to call me sweetie and now it makes me cry
he stayed with me on the day i spent 4 hours in the hospital
he stayed with me there when my face blew up like a balloon
he stayed with me until morning so i wouldn’t wake up in the middle wondering
daddy used to call me sweetie

“for being born and stuff” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 14, 2014
11:44pm
5 minutes
Nelu’s Birthday Card

When I welcome baby Preston I will tell him, “you’re little and I’m big, so that makes me the boss of you!” He will laugh at all my jokes and tell me I’m his favourite sister with his eyes, and we’ll both giggle cause I’m his only sister! I will take him for walks and introduce him to Mr. Andrews who rakes our lawn, and Mrs. Edwards who helps us cross the street with her bright yellow vest. Then when the grass is dry, I will take him to the park and show him what the sun really looks like! I will feed him chunks of bread dipped in Cheese Wiz, and he will make sure the flies don’t land on our stuff by drooling everywhere! I know baby Preston will drool because my Mommy told me so! She said, “He will drool as much as you did,” and I drooled a lot! Baby Preston is supposed to come from Mommy’s tummy in exactly one week from right now. If he doesn’t show up at 2:22 PM, he will be late for his first big appointment. I will teach him how to always be on time and run when Mommy or Daddy calls him. Sometimes you think you’re already running very fast, but I will show him that he should always run fastest before dinner.

“Like sands in my feet” by Sasha on the Bathurst streetcar


Monday, August 5, 2013
11:14pm
5 minutes
In My Shoe
Tee’k Aminu


Dear Penelope. No. Dear Henrietta. Crap. Nooo. Dear Beatrice, “Bea” for short, when we’re feeling cuddly. Dear Beatrice, it is with a heavy heart that I must write on your most pristine of pages. I have decided to leave school – to depart from the fluorescent lights of the cafetorium, from the obnoxious and pimpled boys who have yet to be blessed with a growth spurt. I bid “adieu” to the one ply toilet paper and the sticky pink hand-soap. Never again will I hear that most dreadful sound, that shrill scream, the recess bell. Bea, I have simply had enough. There I was, minding my own business, separating out the bits of sweet pickle from my egg salad, sitting on the bench by the gate, where that questionable student teacher usually sits and sexts on her phone. Miles McCormack, smelling, as usual of tuna and body odour, said, “Bet you can’t guess what my Dad said about your Dad?” And I could. I could guess. Of course I could. But I didn’t. I contained myself. I kept throwing those tiny pickle pieces on the ground. It became hard to ignore him, however, when he came right up in my face, crouched in front. “What are you talking about, Miles?” I asked, as though I hadn’t heard, playing dumb. “Your Daddy got sent to PRISON!” he screamed, a bit of spit flying out of his mouth and landing in my eye.