NICOLE LEONA SMITH
Prestonians are a gritty people.
A people born in dilapidated bedrooms
to carpeted mothers
who used to be in style.
We spend the rest of our lives tearing
those mothers up,
trying to appreciate what’s underneath.
An empty storefront of a population,
surrounded by what was,
too poor or too stubborn
to fully renovate.
We are always under construction.
So used to all the swirling dirt,
we see the world through squinted eyes
and prefer it that way.
to the constant beep of diggers,
sip beer on broken foundations at 11.30am.
We watch our neighbour with the toddler do the same
but from behind a baby gate.
We cheers without looking on purpose.
Bad luck for seven years.
Mama said: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,
and if it is broke, it belongs here.
Nicole Leona Smith is a Writer and Theatre Creator based in Cambridge, Ontario. Her work as a Playwright been supported by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), the Shaw Festival, and Canadian Stage. Girls From Away is Nicole’s most recent play-in-progress –a co-creation with Newfoundland’s Berni Stapleton, in development through Newfoundland’s Arts and Culture Centres and set to premiere in 2021. Nicole’s essays and short fiction can most recently be found in The New Quarterly, Textile Magazine, and Ember Chasm Review. She is currently working on her first novel, with support from TNQ & the OAC.
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