After School

on special days
I walked
past the yellow buses
waved to friends
in Number Seventeen
that usually took me home

at the end of the lane
I crossed the street
past Mrs. Hertz’s place
with its jungle garden
kittens playing tigers
and down the block
to Grandma’s house

inside her warm kitchen
I sat at the table
drank hot chocolate
ate fresh cinnamon buns

our lesson
knitting needles clicked
while she told stories
to the rhythm
of knit one, purl one
stopping only
to untangle my yarn
or the twists in her plot

fifteen years later
I walk the same walk
after school ends
and my students have gone home

past Mrs. Hertz’s house
now empty
her twenty-two year old cat
put down after a neighbour
found the woman dead

when I open the back door
of my grandmother’s house
there are no buns
and the kitchen is cold

I eat my supper
warmed in the microwave,
among her things
now strange to me
sorted into piles

to give away
no lesson except
her knitting needles
in a basket
with the yarn

~ Angela Kublik

Angela Kublik is an Edmonton based writer whose poetry has appeared in The Prairie Journal, Legacy, and FreeFall, as well as online at DailyHaiku.Org. She edits, an online journal that provides a forum for emerging and established poets. She is also the co-founder/publisher of House of Blue Skies, Alberta’s newest micropublisher, and co-editor of the best-selling anthology Writing the Land: Alberta through its Poets, with Dymphny Dronyk. The anthology is currently in its third printing.

Read Angela Kublik’s poetry:
New Year
Summer Away
Fire Tower on Nose Mountain

Editor’s note: This post is from Home and Away – a sequel to the bestselling Writing the Land (2007). Look for one poet to be featured each day as Alberta poets ponder the question “what is home?” and explore our complex relationship with working on, living with, exploiting and protecting our land and our home. For more information about the project, click here.

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