Exhale, by Clarissa Mae de Leon
“I think everything in this room is about residential schools,”
I turn and take in the four black walls
And sink a little into the ground.
When we reach the painting on the back wall
My eyes go straight to the middle
Where a woman
Is being torn away from her child.
The mother’s expression--
“I am having a hard time facing this one,” I say.
Feeling a compression stretch
Across my chest
I think I have nothing left
To breathe out
I look up.
Outlined in chalk.
Clarissa Mae de Leon
Clarissa Mae de Leon is a PhD student at the Queen’s University Faculty of Education where she researches curriculum theory and multiliteracies. She lives in Kingston, Canada with her greyhound, Emilio.
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