Cut Like Grass

Grandfather was a proud man
A big man, a strong man.
As a child I watched him cut grass
Swooppppppppp!
Went the scythe
Swooppppppppp!
Went the scythe back again
And the hay fields fell.
Our hiding places disappeared
All around was the sweet scent
Of freshly cut grass.
I have never forgotten that smell
And won’t as long as I live.
That is one memory
The missionaries couldn’t erase
I hid it far away in the back of
My little boy mind.
Hidden in the deep grass memories
Before grandfather cut it down
With one big swoopppppp!
I loved watching him
Drink from the bucket of cold water
I drew from the creek.
One big swoopppppppppp
Droplets of cold water would
Fall onto me,
Grandfather laughed out loud
He was my friendly giant.
But he couldn’t save us from residential school
They took us and
I never saw him again.
He never cut grass again
In one big swooppppp!
Our happy lives came to an end,
Except for my memories…
Especially when I smell freshly cut grass
In the city park, near our jungle.

Charles has been a social activist for 35 years. He can be reached at : aroha@shaw.ca. Read other articles by Charles.