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“Several arrests have been made...”

Aljazeera, 29 August 2015


The news comes on as we turn

the van

...The bodies of 71 refugees were found in a truck...

west off the highway

...abandoned on

a motorway...

oh the syrup of light on limestone bluffs

59 men, 8 women and 4 children...

rolling waves of aspen and spruce

including a young infant...

sunset slant across rapids and rock

A police official said...

runnel of water, brush of breeze

it was likely that those in the truck suffocated...

through open windows

and had been dead for up to

two days...

as we drive on our holiday wander down

before the refrigerated truck...

Settlement Road.

was noticed.


(Wikipedia, 28/02/2017 – “The Colonization Roads were created during the 1840s and 1850s to open up Ontario and used by settlers, much like modern-day highways, to lead them towards areas for settlement.” Some, like this one in Haliburton, still bear the name Settlement Road.)


By: Susan McMaster. Her publications include books, magazines, anthologies and wordmusic recordings with First Draft and Geode Music & Poetry. She’s founding editor of Canada's first feminist magazine, Branching Out, and past president of the League of Canadian Poets. This poem will be in her forthcoming poetry collection, Haunt (Black Moss, Autumn 2017).

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