I never expected there would be music at this funeral.
It was a day at the dead end of February that showed all variations of the colour grey: ashen branches stripped of leaves, cement-coloured clouds, steely frost, the opaque pane of ice under my feet, a window into the river translucent enough to suggest its gunmetal current.
Our water flows from an unnamed, underground spring. It flows downward from a point about a kilometre north-west of our home.
I am standing in the middle of the ragged highway that passes my home when a wildlife officer offers me a seagull egg sandwich. The road winds its way northeast from Yellowknife for seventy-five kilometres, then just ends. If you don’t heed the giant stop sign, you’ll drive into a river that parts the sub-Arctic forest in all its stunted, natural glory.
The north sea speaks carefully around a mouthful of flints.
The honourable mention in our 2009 creative non-fiction contest, judged by Deborah Campbell.
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Room 40.3, Migration
Edited by Nav Nagra
In this issue:
Rasha Abdulhadi, Juliane Okot Bitek, Ariane Both, Aimee Henny Brown, Leonarda Carranza, Rose-Anne Chabot, Karla Comanda, Marita Dachsel, Stacy Gardner, Branwyn Holroyd, Sandeep Johal, Sharon Kirsch, Katherine Koller, Lydia Kwa, Emily McKibbon, Amanda Merpaw, Shelley Marie Motz, Dorothy Nielsen, Rita O’Grady, Kimberly Peterson, Claire Polders, Ramna Safeer, Nilofar Shidmehr, Arielle Spence, Chanda Stallman, Catherine J. Stewart, Florence Treadwell, Sarah Wolfson, Annie Wong.