John-Ward Leighton


John-Ward Leighton: 2009
John-Ward Leighton: ©Copyright 2009 by John-Ward Leighton
Kettle on, bed made, coffee up after finally a good nights sleep. The rain seemed to keep the street people off our particular block and except for one car alarm that went off twice and one OD siren we had a very quiet night. Put my head down at 9:30 p.m. and slept right through and dreamed about my time as a child on the farms just outside Portage la Prairie in the province of Manitoba. Woke up wondering what happened to those good people most of who would have passed by now from this mortal coil.

I especially wonder what ever happened to my Grade two teacher Mrs. Hicks. She was the person who inspired me to write poetry. This much I knew about her: she was married to a mining engineer who was working in South Africa. Her family lived in the village of High Bluff about two miles north of the old #1 highway on the CPR line. She taught the one year of school and then was replaced by a physically abusive old spinster who was always pulling students by their ears and cracking them across the knuckles with a steel edge ruler. My sister was born that year and Dad had a training accident in a jeep roll over and the war in Europe ended. That Sunday, VE Day - my birthday, we went to the Church at old High Bluff to thank God that the two Brock boys had survived the war one serving in Italy and later Holland where he met up with his brother who landed at Normandy.

My Mom came out a picked me up and I assumed the duty of part time baby sitter for my little sister Charlotte and I moved to the new family home on the north side of Portage la Prairie. Brother Bob would join us after VJ day in time for us both to start school at North Ward School. This would be my tenth different school and I was only in grade three with many more changes to come.

In my seventy-fourth year, when I look back and see how many roles we are all required to play, I’m amazed that I have survived. None of this was by design I just blundered along and here I am with many of my contemporaries already gone and everyone seemingly hanging by a thread while I’m relatively healthy and wondering when my “Good Luck” may come to an end. Pissing and moaning, while my stomach is full, while opulently clothed and housed and just outside my window people are dying in the street.

Mark my words – I’m one lucky son of a bitch!