YaYa by Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes is a retired secondary school English teacher who now writes fiction and nonfiction about overcoming alienation by reconnecting with the environment.





Born adult, left home age a month,

Changed name to YaYa.

Mohawk buzzcut. Storms her lay

Atop Taber Mound

(Dance rain rattle and lightning drum.)

Cut in half and cauterized

She’s grown a Velcro strip holds

The scar closed on her insides.

She was never young!

Depends how you read in art she

Throws off lives ajar. Random walk.

But cross-tracks downtown scat her paws …


What signs else … She bleeds egg-yolk yellow.

She pees sky-blue. She exudes

Primary colours. She lives

In the present loose.

Her answer to all blah-blah; her moniker,

Whats-it-matta YaYa


She’s illegal in any

Arrives in a coup d’état-

Hitches ride. Slaps pickup’s ass

‘Thanks. Freeze, fight, fly!’ Her boots crunch

Extinct shells and broken bones.

(She “farts philosophy – or

Feel-somethin’-sticky,” she adds).


“I like how you’re I’m not what.”

Spy cache in an amulet tied

She: “Wear the beast out inside.”


A shadow resolves

“Hey! Where you goin?” – “Don’t know.” –

“So am I.” –  “Thanks.” – “Nice to” –

“Freeze, fight, fly!”

Her next ride. Zing! … Skin ting jings.



*Taber Hill is a First Nations mound in Toronto, dating from the 13thcentury.

**ting jingis listening energy



Robert Hughes