Just because people couldn’t gather together in 2020 doesn’t mean that they didn’t have stories to share. This year the Yorkton Arts Council’s Story Slam event went virtual, with five local storytellers submitting their story virtually.
This year’s judges - Michelle Goulden, Marj Dech, Calvin Daniels, Amber Harvey and Tricia Friesen Reed - each scored the submitted stories and in the end came up with one winner. That winner was C.V. Sastry with his tale Escape from Manhole.
This week we will be reprinting the submitted stories. To listen to them tell their story visit yorktonarts.ca.
Old Tam was jazzy in his vest and tie
A gentleman dressed up
No running shoes for him
He insisted on steaming rice
from the electric cooker –
never rice in a pouch
After a day in Chinatown he might uncrease
On Mondays the high voice of
the opera singers floated
in the air
Yet his stillness scared us kids
we crept around him
He beckoned me
Big Sister, come share the candy
with your cousins
Only Tam called me by the title
Pausing under the inky blue sky
I breathe, sigh and remember
Did I look up today?
Did I wish away the minutes?
Bow my head in gratitude for my health,
my job and the ones who love me –
like you, who boast to the residents
that I came from Canada to see you
You ignore my wrinkles and see
Big Sister running with the innocents
Good night sharp dressed Tam
May all your rice bowl be forever full
Good night grandpa
I am living. I remember you.