Rosebud, Alberta is a tiny hamlet of less than 60 people. However, during the year it boasts thousands of tourists who come through its rustic, historic streets to browse, shop and enjoy the museum, mercantile, art gallery and dinner theatre. I worked here many years ago. It remains one of my favorite places on earth. Visit sometime…you’ll understand why.

This deceptively sleepy town,

like an anthill grows ever busier with proximity.

I shove an itchy, needy nose deep

into her business and am rewarded

with friendship’s long embrace.

Her longer history kisses my eager self

with the open mouth of years and paint-peeled time,

the salvaged montage of a community’s coming and going.


Akokiniskway, river of roses,

how quietly you drag yourself along

and leave nary a trace

but birch, poplar, ducks and deer

to share this sojourn.

Your listless demeanor belies your

curious purposes, sometimes lost from sight

but never from memory.

Hallowed, leaning light caresses these hills,

parading their greens and haunted haunches

with souls of soil-soled shoes,

long lost from this place.


Mercantile, full of this and that,

the brick-a-brack of bent and browsing tourists,

their interest in what to take, not what’s left behind,

still less what lies ahead.


Gazing through the bent and mottled glass

of this old hotel window,

these crooked, slanty floorboards

joke with me and, together, we await the 12:03 train,

C.P.R.’s gift to unity and boyish dreams.


Today, my pen sings a ready song,

ripe with thoughts of tomorrow’s day before this one –

a union of then and thence,

where and wherefore.

Ink and paper kiss to re-member

and reminisce in rose-colored, glossy touch of summer.


Here, I wrap her in rapture and nuance

and concentric circles of time,

and time,

and shoes worn thin,

still walking these prairie shores, these river valley roads,

Alberta’s broad bosom, face of flush-ed,

rose-pocked cheeks.


Kiss them, I say.

Steal from her what she readily gives and, together,

we’ll sing.

9 thoughts on “Rosebud

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