publishing poetry chapbooks

Monday's Poem


© Laurie Smith


"No organism wholly soft can be preserved.
Shells and bones decay and disappear…"

                    (C. Darwin, Origin of Species)

Saturday coffee morning after blood moon,
all is crisp and bright, I search behind the mottled
poplar for geese approaching, rise and salute their pattern
passing, one veers off trajectory, I say, oh,
I'm sorry—
is it hunting season?

And in the foggy week there'd been that snapping turtle
in my hurry, but I thought the passer-by approaching
looked to have the sense to guide it back towards the river.
Shamed as driving home I straddled what was left, a
shattered circle, I am sorry.

And a kitten, someone's kitten, orange and white
and bloody gape-face haunting, still I curse the timing,
trust that someone has the courage to at least complete
her crossing, lay her out in dignity along the median
in the name of decency, but by late afternoon, a desecration
one might hope the children never see,
I'm sorry.

The brilliant weekend holds no threat of rain
to rinse our migratory pathways clear of conscience,
accelerate the process

Co-publisher of Cranberry Tree Press, Laurie Smith has been awarded prizes in poetry and short fiction by Secrets of the Orange Couch, The Guelph Alumnus, The Lance, Express Magazine, Detroit Women Writers, Blue Moon Press, and Literary Arts Windsor. Twice winner of the Mayor's Awards of Excellence in the Arts, she was the recipient of the inaugural Adele Wiseman Poetry Prize. Her collections include gall/stones (Scratch n' Sniff Ink, 1995), one ninth of a cat's life (Cranberry Tree Press, 1999), and Menagerie (LAW-PPP, 2005). She is currently developing a poetry manuscript based on the writings and extended influence of Charles Darwin, and acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.