MY LEFT FOOT

 

Make no bones about it; my left foot carried its final edition
in my genes since the day I was born. My left ankle’s collapse
a birth defect; its ankle fusion fix a failure, confirmed too late

by a CT scan for anyone to believe
my foot’s pain was 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.
There is bigger and better suffering everywhere,

this close to the end times, pictures of fire and famine eclipse
the sagging memory of my ragged metatarsal,
bone giving way, under the operating theatre lights.

 

by Victor Enns

from LOVE & SURGERY, Radiant Press, 2019

OUR WEDDING CEREMONY AUGUST 27, 2021

Engagement photo

OUR WEDDING CEREMONY

August 27, 2021

Shannon Wilson Marriage Commissioner

Victor Enns and Michelle Hewitt

We are gathered here to share this special occasion with Michelle Hewitt and Victor Enns,
as they exchange the vows that will join them in marriage.

Love is a unity of mind, body, and spirit. Love is created and sustained by friendship, understanding and a complete trust in each other. As you pledge your vows to each other, do so in all seriousness, and yet with a deep sense of joy, with the conviction you are committing yourselves to a dynamic growing relationship of trust, mutual support, and caring love.

Through your commitment to each other, may you grow and nurture a love that has room for laughter and music, desire and creation. May your love instill a passion for living that provides you with energy and patience to face the responsibilities of life.

May you support each other in times of great stress and pain, meeting your challenges of body and mind with understanding, courage, affection, and good humour. You have learned from your own experience, and from each other, suffering is unavoidable, real and to be believed, and know to offer each other succour and consolation when tears fall, and times are hard. Encourage each other to dream big and small, and to persevere to realize them.

You believe you are “better together,” and still marvel at having found each other at this point in your lives. One of the earliest revelations, you’ve said, was how you each felt “happy, safe, and well loved,” in your relationship soon after meeting, and ever since, usually supplanting those occasions when “work-in-progress” seems more apt. You are learning that blame and anger waste time you have together, and you desire to live your days fully in acceptance and love. May you also remember that no-one is perfect, and that you are both, by nature, human.

Vows

I will now ask each of you to please reply with “I do” to the following legal statement.

Victor do you solemnly declare that you do not know of any lawful impediment why you may not be joined in matrimony to Michell Hewitt?

Michelle, do you solemnly declare that you do not know of any lawful impediment why you may not be joined in matrimony to Victor Enns?

M/C: I invite you to face each other and to join hands. The hand offered by each of you is an extension of yourself just as it is your mutual love.

Victor, will you repeat after me please:

M/C and Victor: I call on those present to witness that I, Victor Enns take Michelle Hewitt to be my lawful wedded wife, life partner, and best friend to love, trust, honour, and respect.
I commit my life to you, embracing all joys and sorrows, all triumphs, and hardships. I make this commitment in love and live it in joy.

M/C Michelle, will you repeat after me please:

M/C and Michelle: I call on those present to witness that I, Michelle Hewitt take Victor Enns to be my lawful wedded husband, lifelong partner, and best friend to love, trust, honour and respect. I commit my life to you, embracing all joys and sorrows, all triumphs and hardships. I make this commitment in love and live it in joy.

M/C: The rings please

The ring, unbroken never-ending circle, is a symbol of committed unending love.

M/C Michelle as you place the ring on the third finger of Victor’s left hand,will you repeat after me:

M/C and Michelle: From this day forward, I will love and cherish you. I will look with joy
down the path of our tomorrows and find peace and happiness knowing we will walk it together side by side and hand in hand.

M/C Victor: As you place the ring on the third finger of Michelle’s left hand, will you repeat after me:

M/C and Victor: From this day forward, I will love and cherish you. I will look with joy down the path of our tomorrows and find peace and happiness knowing we will walk it together side by side and hand in hand.

You have exchanged these rings as the pledge of your love and have joined your hands to accept one another. We will now take a few minutes to sign the marriage register.

Victor and Michelle, now that you have consented in legal marriage and have declared your sincere intention before these witnesses and have exchanged your rings as the pledge of your vows to each other, upon the authority vested in me by the province of British Columbia, I pronounce you husband and wife, you may seal the ceremony with a kiss.

<SMOOCH!>

 

 

TRIAGE

I am in an angry and sad place right now. I’m sad that R Murray Schafer has died. He was 88 and has done a lot of good work so it’s a tempered sadness as I work on gazhals prompted by his string quartets. I am sad that Dave Barber has died. He is my age and has done a lot of good work so I am sad on a personal scale for having lost him as a friend and colleague when at work for the Winnipeg Film Group, and for the loss of his programming expertise for Cinematheque.

Image by Allan Harding MacKay.

Mostly I am angry and sad about what’s happening in Afghanistan. This could easily have been and probably was predicted by advisers to Dis United States administration. I agree with the general sentiment that it’s time that the USA stopped being the policeman of the world, or building empires. I am however sad that the United Nations has not come back into the country when Dis United States departed leaving the country to the Taliban.

The Taliban took Afghanistan so quickly it could only have been agreed to before hand with many of the local population tired of the corruption common in this so called attempt to bring democracy to Afghanistan. It’s a law and order government that’ll happen, it will subjugate women almost certainly.

At the moment there is a promise that women will be able to educate women just like midwives are women and are allowed to touch women in childbirth but male doctors are not which still means that there is more death in childbirth and high infant mortality rates higher then in many or most countries. Wait and see.

I know I know killing to support  human rights doesn’t make any logical sense. “But if I had a rocket launcher…” Or life is unfair and we should just accept it as such. I am a lucky man. This is where I run into my problem. Under the Taliban the rights of women to free speech, freedom of movement, freedom to be educated will be wiped out within months.

Yes I know I know that was already happening. I think the best suggestion I heard about this was to arm the women. And see what happens, it can’t be any worse. Teaching them to grow food has not stopped the collapse of human rights, which could never ever even be mentioned when I was there in 2008.

And that’s the essential conundrum in Afghanistan explained to me. It’s a choice between bad and worse. It’s not a choice between good and bad it’s a choice between bad and worse. At the time when I was in Afghanistan in 2008 that meant the occupation was bad, but the Taliban is worse. Yes that’s now present tense, but we’re told this is Taliban 2.0. speaking Urdu not Pashto. Educated, and from Pakistan who will be the new occupiers. Pakistan? Likely they’ve negotiated an end to drone strikes there as well.

So Prime Minister how will you bring 20,000 vulnerable Afghans to Canada now, in the middle of an election, a pandemic and wildfires? Triage.

I can’t watch; and start thinking how to raise money to help educate girls and women wherever in the world they are not treated as human equal to men. This means in our Canada too, where Indigenous girls and boys too often do not have equal opportunities for clean water, housing or an education.

Today I do not feel up to the challenge, happy the lives of my granddaughters will be better than my mother’s, and better than the girls’ in Afghanistan. I am sad and angry about racism in our Canada, about the need of clean water, housing and education for Indigenous peoples. In Canada I can see a bit of hope now and then, there has been some movement towards improvement, however slow. In Afghanistan life will fall back,  likely moored in teaching of the uncleanliness of women, and the superiority of men.

So we teach our Canadian children human rights and reading,  and support others risking their lives to teach girls and women around the world, teachers under threat of death and dismemberment. Triage.

My manual wheelchair disintegrated under  my butt, and our handicapped equipped van broke down likely for the last time. The left channel on my amplifier is gone and there are too many passwords keeping me from my work as a writer and as a consumer. My puny sorrows. I am a lucky man.

Covid-19 infections are way up in our valley as wildfires torch the surrounding forests. Hurrah for the front line workers, the firefighters, the paramedics!  Our house is safe and insured. Triage.

And then there are the ruins of capitalism observed in tin cocoons by billionaires circling the earth life is good they say life is good. Triage.

Victor Enns reads and writes poetry and fiction. Afghanistan Confessions, poems in the voice of Canadian soldiers, was published in 2014, boy in 2012. Lucky Man (2005) was nominated for the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year award.