Curtis LeBlanc

In Recognition of a Quarter Century of Contribution to UMA

They gave him a bad watercolour: two men
surveying a dirt road flanked by standing
water and train tracks stretched thin to three
red grain elevators no longer in operation.
The men stand behind their yellow tripods,
measuring the distance between something
and nothing. It is almost winter. Everything
is dead or dying. The trees hold no leaves.
The canola, barbered down to stubble.
For twenty-five years my father has been
assessing, with the precision of a person
born into nothing, the unpaved road to
something. I have watched him mark
the milestones like the longer lines
on a ruler—kneeling at the edge of the teak
coffee table, raising the orange cat high
above his split-level empire of berber
carpet and second-hand furniture.

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