Daddy

Invisible colossus I choose not to see. From under your shadow I have long been free. And yet, in moments you appear, visceral and powerful. Like when I step out onto the Visayan Sea, my muscles instinctively tense and my senses heighten with primordial skills you taught me, long forbidden to women. Or, in the back of South African Land Rovers taking in the predatory environment, sense it’s movements like you taught me. Or, in countless other wild spaces.Back in distant memories, we stalk prey in a canoe through reeds long and dry, or lay in ambush of some ancient lake monster seated high above on a dome of ice under aurora borealis.

On the phone now, the Philippines to Campbell River, via Skype, for your birthday, I choke. Our only relationship, a history of classical father and son Canadiana. The bush, planes, fishing. I never wanted to; you never recognised. This sense, a fifth sense inherited from you, savvy and flawed creature of the bush, feels teeming with masculinity. Is it internalised misogyny that it can’t feel feminine?

Then, why didn’t you give it to my sister?

In distant memories, I will always trail you down old logging roads stalking grouse, plump for the kill, unrecognised. The accidental inheritance I was never meant to receive.

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