I am the Defender of the North East Corner. Once a privilege, now a penance. For who wishes to linger beyond one’s given time? To see one’s world become strange, then stranger still?
In days long gone, before the sprouting of the concrete forest, when I stood in open country among grasses and brooks beneath an endless sky, the old people spoke often of the Grey Lizard.
Fortresses were built, Defenders sent out to all Corners. Who hears the Grey Lizard’s name now?
Yet, as Defender of the North East Corner, I made my pledge. First, to offer the bowl of friendship, as that is our way. Then, should the Lizard refuse to drink, to raise the alarm and protect this Corner to the end.
So here I stand, although I grow weary and am mocked, addressed not by my illustrious Defender title but as ‘moron’ and ‘weirdo’ by those that leap from the horseless chariots they call ‘bus’ and ‘car.’ Go back, they tell me, to where you came from.
Still I wait, in snow and sun alike, ready to fulfill my solemn oath.
When the Grey Lizard comes, will we stand firm and fight? For fight we must. The bowl of friendship is broken now, cracked with age, the milk drained.
Has the Lizard lost its strength over the aeons? Have I? Will one of us hesitate, turn away and take flight? Will it be the Lizard? Or me?
Why would the Lizard take flight? Why would it fear me? I have only this shield left. See how the birds alight on it. They have no fear of me.
Listen to their merry chirruping.
How glad I am of them.
“Untitled” by Mimmo Paladino (2002) stands at the north-east corner of rue Sherbrooke and rue Musée, beside the Erskine and American United Church which is now part of the Montréal Musée des Beaux Arts.
See other magnificent Mimmo Paladino sculptures.
Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge Life Imitates Art – “find inspiration in a piece of art, and go further: imitate it.”
2016 is my Year of the Blurt: each week I’ll take advantage of an odd spare moment or two to write something very quickly. Probably the blurts will mostly be fiction, but who knows! Will I be able to meet the challenge of posting one every Thursday through the year? Thank you for reading this blurt.
Please note: all material on this website, except for comments by others, is © Susi Lovell.