Green Lane, White Lane

Behind the modest houses

rows of duplexes, stairs curving like ringlets,

run the narrow rectangles

of freedom.

City back yards, paved over, little hot tubs,

corner lady’s flower jungle.

apple tree and lilac herald

behind the chain link fences.

Lanes bisect the lots

High board fences, gates, ramshackle garages,

trees the power-guy “pruned”,

speed bumps.

Lanes of baking asphalt in summer,

short cuts for bad navigators.

Play hopscotch

on a crooked grid chalked in yellow.

Hose down the car and see the lines

fade to grey.

a rare ” Green Lane”.  Some city councillor’s

inspiration.  No paving here, little pirate oasis

Blooming vines, flower border


out of the


Kids in detention plant

wild roses, sumacs, Saskatoon berry bushes.

Feral cats, nesting birds trembling

like the city kids with their own version of Eden.

Winter democracy spreads white over

picnic tables

plastic  chairs

kids’ swings

bird baths.

All waiting for the greening of the lane.

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