A minor ditty, a memoir for a local writing contest. A winner?- be still my heart, wait and see…
In the middles pages of my friend, the Vagabond Godfrey’s journal- “Canadian Road Apples”- I found a pressed sprig of cedar, brown and brittle with age.
“Cedar for luck”, I recall he whispered, “a noble and most forgiving tree”. Stalwart in muddy boots and old kilt, headed up Menzies Street with me, I desired a ticket for the lottery.
Being from Wales, Godfrey chuckled at the houses I called “old”. Arm in arm we two strolled, the bustle of December in James Bay. We greased our chins on fish and chips, and slurped milkshakes at a small cafe’. From a corner grocer, bought that ticket, won a free play.
Godfrey pointed out where once he had a “mishap with foam” in the corner laundry-mat. The cedar where ,” Larry the Free Advice Wino” sat. I never cashed in that free ticket…
Last summer, a rare rainy, misty day. Riding the bus, through the narrow side streets of James Bay. I looked out from the window grimed with spray, a young man sat, smiling up at me. Why would a lad on a July afternoon, touch his cap and nod to a passing old lady?
He wore baggy plaid shorts, muddy boots, held a battered suitcase, old faded shirt, same missing tooth. The picture in youth of my Vagabond, Godfrey.
I could not get off at the light, another elder asked, “are you alright”?
Rarely now do I wander about James Bay-but oft sit neath the Advice Wino’s cedar tree, I leave it to you story tellers, share in her mystery.
With thanks to Ginger and Lonewolf- “in my friends house are many toilets”..