Submission Information

Karen Massey -
Excerpt from Decalogue: ten Ottawa poets


A woman on the prairie visiting her mother’s
abandoned childhood home
A woman on the beautiful, bald prairie
with her ailing mother, returned to her homestead
left alone over time in a place called Holdfast
A woman at fifty absorbing some of the
spilt emotions her mother rarely shows;
her mother dancing nearly childlike beneath the huge-hued sky,
her body unusually spirited, resounding in rare laughter
A woman with a borrowed camera taking b&w photographs
of the deserted house and prevalent memories
A woman on the unforgettable prairie;
sad woman, beautiful women, on the prairie
An idea of dust and memory caught in gray scale,
the spell of years broken around them;
the mother uncharacteristically fey
and the daughter, gorgeous, slipping into that middle age
that has its own vision and endless sky
Two women, a shimmering, broken open
in Holdfast; the woman as open as the sky;
her mother, the sky, as close as they’ve ever been

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