When we were little
we would take summer trips to Egypt to see grandparents while
our classmates went to Perth or Kingston
or Quebec City.
In the schoolyard, in September, I’d talk about
the transit in New York, or Amsterdam, or Paris
Make it sound as though those 7 hours were the most important
of my trip
Subconsciously highlighting the whitest places I had seen
Erasing the crying goodbye with my cousins
the walks that started at 9 p.m. on the Alexandria boardwalk
and ended after 2 a.m.
our hands smelling of roasted corn on the cob
and cotton candy
Now my 5 year old asks about his cousins
the tears fresh on his cheeks
new ones brewing in his eyes
Why can’t they stay in Canada?
why can’t we all live together all year round?
and I am reminded of my tears
and my love
and my duality
of always feeling in two places
I love Egypt in a different way
a way that would be deeper if I knew it better
if it was home instead of vacation
It is home because I know
that there are those who still want to know
if I’m really Canadian
as if those Transatlantic Overnight flights defined me
the way I feared they might
when I was little.