North Vancouver is smaller than I remember it

David Collings

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Helena Miranda Ventosa and Leen Naser

When it was winter
And the world stopped
Did I know then where I wasn’t?

Knew new streets through pictures and pixels
Knew crosstown the concept
Knew some day things would change
And the Seabus would carry me home
Across the harbour in the evenings
Hulking shipyard steel in half-light, too familiar for fear
Unmoving they have always — will always — stand like this
As fixed as home

I knew this
Until knowing met the city’s asphalt body

And after class and
On the beach and
Between pines before the snow
Everyone all of a sudden said
We are the streets and signs of home
You haven’t met yet
The city is a place and it is made of us
And there are other ways to cross the harbour

It is winter
And the wind the waves the snowflakes pass the window
that
Thrums with contact between thick wheels and asphalt
And water beside, not beneath, is enough
I do not pass the quay
Or that street
Or that street
Or the playground one block up
And one block over from the quay
That I knew before
I had names for the streets

The bus stops to remind me
Where I wasn’t
Was also
home