Visiting Girouard Avenue in 1963

 Stephen Morrissey



From A Private Mythology, Ekstasis Editions, 2014 (forthcoming):

As a child, I walked up
the grey wooden stairs
at Grandmother’s flat
on Girouard Avenue,
it was Christmas
and what remained
of the family gathered,
Grandmother, Great Aunt Essie,
Uncle Herbie and Auntie Dorothy,
Uncle Alex and Auntie Ivy,
my mother, brother,
and I. Late one Christmas Eve,
almost forty years later,
after driving friends
home, I parked the car
outside the old flat, the only place
on the street with lights
still on at that late hour,
and sat in the car outside
Grandmother’s door
where I waited as a child,
waited that night
as though she would
appear again, walk down
the grey stairs and call me
to join the family
for Christmas dinner,
as though
they were all still there,
and no time had intervened
since I was a child, as though
the years of my youth
had not passed and the man
I was to become—
sitting alone in a parked car
on Christmas Eve—
did not yet exist
except in some cold
distant future night.