poem: On Michigan Beach

A few weeks ago, I was going through old boxes in my parents’ basement. One contained a bunch of papers, books and writing from high school. It was a fun little box of discovery and memory, and I found my creative writing assignments from Grade 12. It was interesting to see what my 17-year-old self thought about things. Some pieces were so bad it was funny, and others I don’t remember writing at all, and can’t figure out what would’ve inspired me. But that summer before Grade 12, I had the opportunity to go to this international leadership camp in Michigan. Sounds nerdy, and in ways it was, but it was also an amazing experience for me — especially at that time in my life. I met some interesting and inspiring people from all over the globe, and to a girl who grew up in, (at that time) boring and uniform Saskatoon, meeting people from such exotic places as Ecuador, Ghana and Japan made a pretty big impact. Much of what I wrote about that year came from my few weeks at that camp, including this poem.


On Michigan Beach

The pleasant smell of smoke

and burning pine, as fire

steals each face from shadows.

They are laughing, singing,

and in the spaces between

they look at stars.

At night, this place

feels different.


Water and land

kiss softly in darkness.

Sometimes, they are so quiet.

Only the sounds of

breath and waves.

Skin brushing skin.

They huddle in the damp air

and press their memories into sand.




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