Elegy

My mother
sobbing

Her sisters older
younger
sobbing

Edmonton
deep winter
1944

what I remember
in the cold rundown
Boyle Street January
semi-dark afternoon
a Harvard Trainer
droning

what I don’t remember
the names coming from
the radio     my mother
her sisters     five women
sobbing

What I remember
frost on the panes

What I did not know
men die

What I don’t remember
a father

What I did not know
how well this
child of four
was cared for by
five sisters

What I did not know
town girls
school romances
best ball
player hockey
player
most liked
shyest cutest
Airmen
Soldiers
their families
already told

Town girls now
city women hearing
for the first time
what I did not know

What I remember
a Harvard Trainer’s
drone
there
then not

***

Note: During World War II, Edmonton had a Royal Canadian Air Force training base for Commonwealth pilots