After more than 45 years in the much storied Annex neighbourhood–so close to the University of Toronto and Coach House Books is our next-door neighbour after all—it does not surprise us that playschool has made its way into literature proper. Poet Chantel Lavoie references Huron Playschool Cooperative in her poem, "the lane," an ode to bp Nichol that appeared on Brick Books' Celebration of Canadian Poetry last year.
The poem is about nichol, literature, maternal ambivalence, and the many selves we harbour as parents. And yes, about one particular lane, the one just outside our back door. Read the poem below. And let us know if you know of any other playschool literary references.
the lane, by Chantel Lavoie
The first way out of motherhood was once a mews
behind St. Thomas’s Anglican church
which fronts Huron Street in Toronto.
Passing with longing by the silent
always Coach House Press, I pushed
the child in his stroller
for those two and a half sacred
hours (counting drop-off,
counting pick-up) before rushing
to Robarts Library
to work on the book
about women writers
in the eighteenth century—
the ones I know about
who had servants
or were childless....