Nathan R.

Fort McMurray, Alta.

Sticks on the Porch

On a clear springtime evening on April the sixth, the breaking news broke with a nation transfixed.
A bus bound for Nipiwin wouldn't make it on time- wouldn't make it at all, and there's lives on the line.
A team taken out by a truck going West, our strength and our unity put to the test.
The driver, the trainer, ten players from the team, one of the boys who was only 16.
The announcer, 2 coaches, and the stats-boy they say, were re-routed to heaven in Saskatchewan that day.
Memorials were held and sermons were spoke, as a people we relied on eachother to cope.
Donations poured in just as did support, people all over the world would put sticks on their porch.
The days passed like months but the pain wouldn't part, I wept as I watched with such hurt in my heart.
Looked up to the sky praying for explanation, then a thought came to me that brought slight consolation;
"My Grandma is Up There, and so is my Cousin. They'll know just what to do when they hear company's coming.
They'll start up the stove and fire up the grill, they'll be fixing a feast when there's stomachs to fill.
Garnishing dishes and setting the places, they'll have no problem feeding sixteen smiling faces.
And when dinner is done they'll hug each one good-bye, and wave out of the window as they roll down the drive.
Tidy all of the dishes without ever a fuss, as the Broncos roll out in their brand new green bus.
One thing in my thought that i forgot to mention, that's right- you know  play-offs still go on in heaven.
And the ride will be smooth fun and pleasant as they, rolling up to the rink with a big game to play.
Then all our lost loved ones will fill up the stands, the soldiers, the firefighters clapping their hands.
Rows of construction workers down by the glass, rows of policemen- the place will be packed.
The fans will break out in a "GO BRONCOS!" chant and then, Gord Downie will sing them the national anthem.
For a surprise their pre-game pep talk would be given, by Saskatchewan's legendary coach, Brad McCrimmon.
Then finally all of the seats would be filled, and when the dressing-room tension can no longer build-
With true Humboldt thunder they'll fly out of the the gates, with the strength of a nation igniting their skates.
And after they take game 6 with ease the best part is Red Fisher will write them a dazzling article.
And just like a story that takes place in Heaven, once down 3 to 1, the Broncos take it in seven.
Then they'll hoist Heaven's trophy at their new destination, skate the Cup 'round the rink to a standing ovation.
I snap out of my dream-state and choke back more tears, and reflect on my hockey-playing, bus-riding years...
Because back here on earth we're not all safe and sound, as they fight for their lives in their hospital gowns.
House-hold to house-hold we're holding our hands, praying that not one more victim shall pass.
And now day by day as i drive down the drive, i notice a couple more sticks stood outside.
So as seasons change and the toys put away, what matters is none of our memories fade.
Love one another, and show your support, keep Humboldt at heart, and a stick on the porch.
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