A poem by ex-pat CWG member Brittany Smith (website) now graces the Tofino Arts Council’s Boardwalk project’s Word Rider board. You’ll find it by the staircase in the Common Loaf Bake Shop, downtown Tofino, across from the post office.
The poem was abridged to fit the board. Full text below.
Not for me, our back garden
amongst the marigolds, sweet peas
and staked tomato plants.
(Husband, don’t you dare.)
When all my days are spent
I want you to pay me to the surf.
Carry my ashes to Tofino.
Ferry me there in a coffee tin
with the label peeled cleanly off.
(Or leave it on, I won’t mind.)
And once you’ve had your fill
of picturesque views and delicious
designer dishes and it’s about time
to be heading back
that’s when you’ll take me
to Chesterman beach and with wet
sand sucking the bottoms
of your pale bare feet
you will pry open the lid
and release me
into the spray, the foam,
the salt and churn.
And as the last shard of bone
is wheeled underwater
and I join my beloved grey whales
and moon snails finally and forever
you will feel it, husband:
the ache of second place.
* * *
Board art and lettering by Joanna Streetly. Britt’s poem was abridged to fit the board by Janis McDougall. Photo by Joanna Streetly.