Community

Spadina Road stretches north of Bloor, the hipster bustle of the Annex fading into a series of run-down apartments. The crush of vehicles on Bloor thins here, too; the noise of the traffic punctuated by the low rumble of the subway below. Walking north, on the left-hand side, I meet a high wall separating the sidewalk from the Native Canadian Centre, the NCC. In the evenings, smoke and song drift down to the road; sometimes there is music playing, children running barefoot along the wall. The campfire coals turn red, and then to ash, and groups of old men gather around a rusty bucket, tossing butts like horseshoes and speaking in hushed, gravelly voices.

There is a Community, just steps from my front door, of which I can never be part. But each day that I pass, the smoke and song remind me that, I too, have blood that flows red.

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