Yasmin Ladha's Blue Sunflower Startle

by Shaun Hunter


Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers

Prairie crocus in Calgary's Charleswood, not far from Yasmin Ladha's Nose Hill as the crow flies (Photo: Karen Gummo)

Prairie crocus in Calgary's Charleswood, not far from Yasmin Ladha's Nose Hill as the crow flies (Photo: Karen Gummo)

A woman writes a love letter to the prairies. “Dear Prairies, Can loving you be more than an act of imagination? Can one love a place like a lover?” Teaching English in Chonju, South Korea, she thinks of the house she shares with her mother and brother near Calgary’s Nose Hill.

 

This snowy evening in Chonju, restaurants are full of ochre with the heat of candles and eye nuzzle. I am happy that my friend is in one of those restaurants sharing a meal with her boss and her husband. I make my own boot prints in the snow. Then, soft as a kiss, home grazes my nape, and I see in my mind’s eye the two familiar patio chairs in our backyard that remain toppled all through winter. But I see them at the end of the season, when it is no longer winter, when the first crocuses jut out and I sit the patio chairs upright and wipe them with a wet tea cloth, then put a lemon-coconut square in the oven. The season for company has arrived. Mixing bowl washed and the square cooling on the kitchen table, I nip across the bald, brown fields for a bunch of tulips from Safeway.

 

Yasmin Ladha, Blue Sunflower Startle (Freehand Books, 2010)