3 Poems

Riley Woodford

Hope Moffatt


It’s been some time so long ago
That led me down this path
There I was in a one room school
Helping kids with math

Didn’t know where this would lead
Or the journey I was startin’
All I know, I was grabbed
by a teacher named Mrs. Barton

Up next was a challenge
Off to teacher’s school I’d go
Same one as my Mom and Nan
I was another in a row

After a year of studying
And two out on the grind
Earned myself a certificate
Framed it up in pine

This would be the start
Of my teaching journey
I still had lots to do
No one would do it for me

Back to school, the U of C
Summer courses in the seventies
Nice warm sun pouring down
These studies felt like enemies

Following that I did
Two and a half years in the eighties
Fueled by Mrs. Barton, Mom, and Nan
For that I thank you ladies

My work, it paid off
My sacrifice and patience
I walked out one proud girl
with a Bachelor of Education

Finished at the U of C
Class of 85
But I am not one to slow down
Further I would strive

Fast forward a few years
Successful career aside
On the web I go
More education for me to find

Three and a half years later
Studying part time
With intensive summer courses
A masters in development was mine

This one was extra special
Just the time it dates
For when I got my masters
My baby graduated

I hope you’re all still with me
To listen to my tale
This is what I built
This is my paper trail

My life was a quick beam of light
Snuffed out much too soon
The little time I had down there
Was made beautiful by you

I remember songs you’d sing
They jingle in my head
I would sing them to myself
While I snuggled in my bed

I loved the guitar you had
When you’d start to strum
Before you gave me words
I’d try my best to hum

Oh, the gifts you gave to me
Of music and of word
Without having you in my life
My voice would never be heard

I remember running to you
And asking for a hug
Having you there in my life
Made it a life to love

God said he could fix me
I didn’t know what to say
So I responded “leave me be”
Cause you remember me this way

I was perfect to Mom and Dad
and it also led to you
I am fine the way I am
I know this to be true

God looked down and smiled
Asked me what I would like
I looked up, with a tear in eye
And asked to borrow his sight

He thought, but for a minute
As I waited for his reply
“If I were to give you this
how would you use my eyes?”

First I’d see my Mom and Dad
To help them with their pain
Tell them to live their
We will meet again

Next I’d listen into you
I’m like your biggest fan
I’ll watch from up above
As often as I can

I know that how I left you
On your soul did pull
Know that even though it stopped
My little heart was full

Just stop and listen
You might hear a sound
That was just me whispering
Thank you from the clouds.

Sit and stare blankly
At an open computer page
May wear a somber mask
While under it there’s rage

Here I was just thinking
We were close to shore
Little did I know
You didn’t love me anymore

Upon the rocks we crashed
I didn’t see it through the fog
The fact that you betrayed me
Is what hurt me most of all

You should have used your words
Said you needed space
But no, you went and gave me
A stiff backhand to the face

No, you didn’t hit me
But I felt it in the gut
In it slid so clean
Oh, how deep the cut

But no matter how much anger
My own sense of loss
I have to do the right thing
No matter what the cost

My little one didn’t ask for this
I’ll keep her suffering light
She’ll never feel the burn of this
All pain stays out of sight

All she’ll ever think of this
Is that we caught a hitch
I will mend my broken heart
Slowly, stitch by stitch

I’m not sure what to do right now
But one thing is crystal clear
My little daughter needs me
And I will always be here

No matter all the sticks and stones
No matter what the fight
As long as Mommy is ok
Baby will be alright

Take one in, a good deep haul
Let the breathing help me heal
On the exhale, push away
All the hatred that I feel

As I stand up from this chair
I feel a weight come off
It’s not I who’s losing
It’s he who’s at a loss

This will not inject itself
And poison me with anger
When it’s all said an done
It’s he who’ll be the stranger

I will raise my baby right
In everything she will strive
She will get my everything
I feel young at forty-five

For anyone who reads this
I just needed to vent
Spitting hate and insults
Not what I represent

Many things seem cloudy now
My future kinda blurry
Don’t know where life will take me next
Might be Fort McMurray