source - -

Ode to Survivors

décembre 2003

par Elaine Audet

To the fourteen young women killed on December 6 1989
at École Polytechnique of Montreal to the cry of
"I hate feminists ! "

Throughout an interminable minute seventy beats
are shelled into your chest
an hourglass already perforated by sound and fury

Throughout one moment pulled out of its hinges
your heart swelled from its useless generosity
your heart changed to snow
anticipates the final impact of this cold metal point
heated with hatred

You lie in the dull water of your extinguished blood
your luminous eyes, your eyes
clear and clear-sighted remain obstinately opened
in front of the dark mass of the man
who does not stop sifting your breath
with his lead silence

It falls, it falls in me your life with the mothers’
transparent pain
pursuing it
and like a bird finds the memory of the migrations in the sky
your soul
learns anew the alphabet of births in death

I see your mother
her arms trailing to the ground from such an absence
from such an irreplaceable loss
you hear her voice climbing through the darkness
and the uttering of your name
gathers you in the indifference of what is not
of what is not yet born

I see you becoming a crossing of thoughts
sovereign energy to oneself returned
finding thousands of sisters in the time-space
woven of flesh by the fingers of invisible fairies

Listening night after night to the murmur of immured
this word of mouth with time
that no historian bothered to retain
living again the anxiety of the long vigil
when in the vulnerability of childhood
still floats the winter perfume of juniper

Don’t you see your name, mine,
the name of each woman written in letters of blood
on the squeaking slate of hatred maintained from so far

Without your knowing it a wild desire
tears apart your dreams
pierced by the obscure flash
you still seek to understand
why this stranger is avenging himself on you

How could you have imagined
that your mere existence
denies his
the simple odour of vervain in your hair
insults him to the point of wanting you dead

O young life
Eve is your name
our common name to all
our girl’s name

Madder of December
stripped of its bare bark
as if colour was assassinated
in beauty

Read the original in French. "Ode aux sur-vivantes", here. written December 1989.

On Sisyphe, December 3rd 2003

Elaine Audet

Source - -