Josie Ahearn

Metis Past


Wild crocus, blue bells

Wild rose, lilac smell

High bush berries, chokecherries too

Goose berries, wapoos stew.

Golden wheat like a sea

Big sky where birds are free

Combine and broken fence

Model A and trapper’s tents.

Hissing lamp, house of wood

Water pump, fur hood

Beaded parka, crunching snow

Dogs huddled in blowing cold.

“Hutt dogs, heavy sleigh

Winter mice in last years hay

Crackling colors, northern lights

Winter days mostly night.

Sunset and steady wind

Muskrat-beaver’s friend

Bleeding traps, blood in snow

Time to check, don’t want to go.

Old man who’s hair is grey

Six foot seven, never swayed

Fat aunt, bacon and eggs

White cat that never strayed.

Banic and jam, Kokums best

Wool blankets in a wooden chest

Berry baskets made of bark

Open fields, meadowlarks.

Swinging gates, elevator tops

Post and store one stop

Canned milk, oiled floors

Sun beams through cracks in doors.

Skipping ropes, dusty roads

Horses pulling heavy loads

Hula Hoops, bubble gum

Autumn colors, setting sun.

Electricity now, water pipes

Coffee shops and streetlights

Wire fences and freezers too

TV and Moody Blue.

Lilacs are bigger, basements are new

Wheat is shorter, sleds are few

Baskets are broken, fields are gone

But home is home though years pass on.


This poem talks about the change of times for our family in Northern Saskatchewan during the 1940’s to early 1950’s. Our one hundred square mile trap line turned into the Hanson Lake road, bringing town and modern progress to our area.

Wapoos is Michiff for rabbit and Kokum means grandmother.




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