Reprieve

A stranger has come to town. She’s writing about Ukrainian Canadian literature. She’s from Poland. She interviewed me, one evening last week, at my kitchen table. The sky went from blue to indigo as we talked, for several hours. She has read every word I’ve ever published, and brings those words back to me, analyzed and beautifully reinscribed.

We go out, on one of her last evenings here. She’s never eaten Greek food before, so we plan to meet up at the Danforth.

It’s a much-needed reprieve from marking. On the way there, I pass by a row of apartments slated for demolition, aestheticized with murals. Is someone trying to make a point? Real people, and animals too, displaced. Where did they go?

I do a pit stop at Dufferin Grove Famers’ Market, buying artisan cheese, wood-oven-baked baguette, organic potatoes and carrots.

A boy is eating organic perogies from Sosnicki Farms, fried up in the community centre kitchen. He holds out the plate so I can photograph them.


On the Danforth, we sit on the patio, determined for it to be spring.

Gay Ukrainian Boy joins us.

Hummous, melitizana, skordalia, spanokopita, retsina, and conversation that travels across Poland and Ukraine and back to Canada.

Displacement, migration, and the voices of our Babas, haunting us through food.

One of the things I always long for after having been to Europe, is communal culture. Large groups of people at long tables; a loosely structured notion of friendship and community. Sometimes, it happens here.

That. Was. So. Kind. says The Polish Researcher. It. Is. So. Good. To. Meet. Friends.

2 Comments

  1. It is indeed so good to meet friends. And the food always tastes better when we share it with them.

  2. Are they really going to demolish those apartments? Rats!! (We had so hoped that they were going to be refurbished!)

    The pierogies look delicious. And the Greek feast sounds equally so.

    Toronto is wonderful, isn’t it?

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