blue jay

poised for flight, one small

foot on the curb like a sprinter, this girl

with such rough skin the colour

of concrete in the rain, this girl is ready

to fly


her eyes pierce the wind that pulls

her hair back, like a mother’s hand

making a ponytail,

looking for a break


she falls

into a clumsy run, dodges cars with more luck

than precision, and lands


on the other side


where she pushes the open

sides of her windbreaker

together and falls

behind a thin line of orange

patrols just leaving their posts


not far off

a school bells rings

Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer of poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in several literary magazines and anthologies, most recently Manitoapow: Stories from the Land of Water (Portage and Main Press, 2012). She is a long-time member of the Aboriginal Writers’ Collective of Manitoba and is currently completing her MFA at the University of British Columbia. Her first collection of poetry is set for release by The Muses’ Company in the fall of 2012.