Lord Have Mercy, Christ Have Mercy

When the evening comes
we set a table
and eat.

My children laugh
then fight
then laugh again.

I look at my husband
with love
then anger
then love again.

We clean up together.
The kids watch youtube.

But there are three girls
on Sutherland tonight.

We put out bowls for breakfast.
Make their lunches.
About brushing teeth
and p.j.’s.
–we’re tired.

We say our prayers.
We don’t mention them.

But there are three girls
on Sutherland tonight.

And as we stay warm
the girls are there
they stand in cold air.

Cars come
and go
a steady flow
of evil
right beneath our sleeping heads.

When I wake
I pour the coffee he made
and look North.

Treaty One Territory.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.

once the kids are safe at school
I choke out words for this
in living rooms
with friends.

But no one knows what to say
when morning comes.

And Sutherland is still.


This poem was written as a raw attempt at putting words to a specific tension/reality we face living at 782 Main Street.

I have lived here with my family for 2.5 years. It has been a remarkable honour to share life with the people we live with.

I will never be the same.

– Jessica Williams, Flatlanders leader



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