At the Dugout
It had always been a place of magic,
where dragonflies jewelled the air like blue fairies.
My brother and I fished out green strings of algae
we called mermaid hair, pearled with tiny eggs
like secrets insects told each other.
There is one evening that sticks
in my memory like a burr in a pant leg.
It was summer, the water cupping the opal of sunset
in its hands. My brother sat on the dock
he had built from scrap wood, feet dangling
in the water’s silent glass. Now and then
birds lifted from the trees, black in the dying light,
so they could have been any kind of birds
that fly in the mind of a child.
It was the first time I remember wanting
to stay young forever. With all my heart
I wanted us to stay, right there. I watched him turn
to silhouette, time passing like a cloud’s reflection.
I watched us grow older and apart.
Years later, we would move away.
I have not seen the dugout since. But I know
frogs still heave up their songs
like buckets from a well
and our younger selves still wade like ghosts
through water that dreams of us.
Rebekah Rempel studied creative writing at the University of Victoria. Her poems have appeared in the anthologies Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia (Mother Tongue Publishing) and Unfurled: Collected Poetry from Northern BC Women (Caitlin Press), as well as the journals Lake, Room, Cactus Heart Press, and One Throne Magazine. Her poems are also forthcoming in Prairie Fire and Contemporary Verse 2. Additionally, she contributed to the Written in Stone Project that displays poetry in a park in Dawson Creek, BC.