Our 2015 Poetry Contest Honourable Mention, judged by Jen Currin.
snow again. no country for thin women.
yes it was white this morning – where did it go?
the only whites I see are houses frame
or aluminum-sided among the awakening trees.
a gulls’ coffee clatch in the school yard
crumbs of gossip.
back in the days when you kept your poems
on ice so they wouldn’t spoil we kids
climbed onto the truck and sucked slivers.
those were the days mother called us in
early no hotdogs either all those entrails
sodden red dye # 2.
some knocked-on doors opened.
now they’re all closing.
spring arrives with a string of green beans.
we never danced on St. Patrick’s Day
humored our teetotal mother.
green beer in liqueur glasses
a red-haired girl wiping the tables.
in those days the cat ate leftovers.
it’s late you have work to do two candles’ worth.
you’re only as far away as a few bird-clutched wires.
sleep won’t help. I program the cat pleaseplease six a.m.
counting sheep doesn’t work.
the bedroom is full
their shadows on the wall.
five a.m. she walks on the telephone.
I keep her dry food in the freezer. sometimes she cries.
the laundry bag overflows.
wouldn’t you know I’m on time you’re in the shower.
nothing to read unholy magazines shorn of their coupons
set me scratching hip-hugging wool nettle tea.
little sister find us a wizard to make us beautiful.
there’s no limit to cosmetic surgery.
once you are old inside it’s as if you’ve never been
anything else wherever you are still snow to walk home in.
what’s left? a single-handed tornado. call waiting.
you phone me late at night. still my idol you say.
Sylvia Adams is the author of two poetry collections, a novel and a children’s book. Workshop instructor, editor, book reviewer. Founding member, Ottawa’s Field Stone Poets. Introvert, synaesthete, Luddite. Winner, 2013 and 2014, Aesthetica’s International Poetry Competition. Recent work in Queen’s Quarterly, Arc, Freefall, Mindshadows.
Photo: Meredith Darling