spring in montreal


Spring was late that year and snow pressed together on lawns, forming islands against the inevitable defrost. The sun that rose in the morning and set at night only reflected from the frozen patches to spatter against windows and walls – the outside temperature still below zero. Humans squinted at the patches impatient, this constellation of memories that refused to dissolve, saying it’s only a matter of time, or it’ll all be gone tomorrow, holding faces, in orange tuques. Ice. When space allows your perspective to look down on a fight, behind a window, warm, it seems separate, exaggerated, propaganda spouted by the extra-sensitive, imagined out of paranoia: If things are not happening to you, they aren’t really happening. I always see snow just lying around… In the case of a prolonged winter, these feelings of irreverence towards snow are stunted by the desire to garden. Reports that the temperature would rise above zero brought hope to the people behind the windows. 

7300 Queen Mary had survived one hundred and twenty-six winters (with a little help from its friends, sure, machine here and contractor there, but, notwithstanding, its ability to stand was due to something natural that flowed in the blood of the mortar) and had a plaque concerning that historicity. 7300’s March lawn housed slush islands that contrasted with the otherwise pristine lawn and white-bricked entrance, a building that encased exchange students, Franco-Québecois seniors, and, resting on a mountain, innumerable dogs. The front lawn was a particularly popular meeting spot for all neighbourhood dogs- perhaps drawn to the scent of history, relatives having peed on the slush islands for time immemorial.

Today, by 07:11, accumulations from a late night snowfall (a small victory for the islands, gaining troops) were stained a swatch of yellows, from Sunrise Yellow to Banana Bonanza.

That snow outside is fucking disgusting

New reports clarified that, upon closer inspection, the ‘real feel’ temperature that morning would be minus five, considering a previously unnoticed wind-front from Ontario.

Who in their right minds really came across this weather and decided hey, this is where we’ll set up camp

Flakes of snow started to drift down, from right to left, nearly horizontal with the gusts of wind, down to the lawn, melting on windows

Claudette, viens voir ca, t’va pas l’croire, sh’t’jure.

With desertion in the air, morale was sustained with a discussion of slush island, forging solidarity through hatred of the different thing.

And this is what is representing us to strangers

I just don’t understand how you couldn’t recognize how dirty you are, and clean yourself up a bit

Tell me the last time you saw this normal, white bank of snow- those ideas are conjured up by a minority to convince us to trust them, that snow actually has the potential to be something more, when, well, it’s naturally yellow

Snow continued to fall. A tractor scraped the salt and dirt to the snow bank, staining slush island black. The next morning, with the sun out, people exited 7300 in winter apparel, the Franco-Québecois seniors in hand-knit scarves, dogs with Gucci-leather booties, exchange students in Canada Goose jackets.

Someone should really do something about it

The black-bootied-dog lifted a leg.


I don’t know, we could pay someone to clean it up

It’ll just become yellow by this afternoon bam there goes your money!


The lawn was aerated when the snow melted. Orange tuques were, for the most part, discarded. When the sun rose in the morning you could smell progress in lilacs that had seemed impossible only a few weeks before. The lawn was still wet from the end of the snow but dampness was more than a fair exchange for the removal of the snow. The plaque was cleaned with a whitening agent – it shone. Snow was where it deserved to be: Gone: You only have yourself to blame when your natural filth doesn’t fit in with the members of your neighbourhood. And flowers, perennials, bloomed.


word by Liam Lachance

colour by C215

Author: Word and Colour

words inspired by colour wordandcolour.com

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