Here are the lineaments of a settlement: the CPR railway station beside the tracks, a blacksmith, a hotel, three churches, a cafe, a general store, a gas station and fifty houses hunched in a rough quadrangle of streets, shrugging their shoulders together against the bitter wind.
What then survives? A turn of phrase? A shadow? A grid marked out by crumbling sidewalks, buildings that have been moved or bulldozed into rubble? The aspirations of foundations remain, predictable Railway Avenue and Main Street. That little march of boarded-up buildings once a street leading to destination, the excitement of penny candy, the practicality of a patched bicycle tire, the cool beads on a glass of beer.
What is the population density of absence? Where is the hamlet daydreaming its old prosperity, its conviction that it would grow rather than shrink.Aritha van Herk