The Reckoning

I walk through
school corridors
hearing tiny cries linger
nine decades
of blood and dirt

this is Canada,
“our home and native land”

a country now summoned
to scour the stains
of our past
and acknowledge
truth and reconciliation
as the way forward
for our future

for we have seen
soil rumble and cry
beneath a two-faced sky
and unearth a
great reckoning
across this nation

“from far and wide”

with the bones
of buried children
that cannot rest
for innocence stolen
and a culture
stripped bare
nameless they lay
silently trembling,
and still
gasping for air

“God, keep our land glorious
and free”

through school corridors
rest hides
in the shadows,
justice clawing
towards the surface
to scrape away
nine decades
of blood and dirt

Author’s Note:  The quotations in this poem are taken from O Canada: National Anthem, Montreal, National Film Board of Canada, 1979.

Karen Kerekes lives in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. Recent poems have appeared in print and/or online in Uproar LCPA, Carmen Ziolkowski Poetry Contest winner, Dissident Voice, The Lothlorien Poetry Journal, volume 7, 9, Dreamers Creative Writing Magazine, issue 9, Verse Afire, T.O.P.S. Read other articles by Karen.