publishing poetry only

Monday's Poem

© 2009 Helen Baker

Helen Baker is a Nanaimo native now living in North Vancouver. Her poems and haiku have appeared in Sub-Terrain, Prism, Haiku Friends, Haiku Canada Review, Penumbra, and online at She also has an award-winning Haiku carved into a granite rock at Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver.

The Seventh Stair

As a child, even before you
knew the word for fear
you would pause at the seventh stair,
the one just below the landing -
that dark part of the stairwell
where the steps turn
and the banister curves and lifts
to the light of the second floor

your grandmother told you
you would sometimes
talk to yourself, or sing softly
below your breath
as you turned the stairs
hurrying past things imagined
unseen, unknown, invisible
…husha husha we all fall down


Snowed in, midwinter
back for your grandmother's funeral
lying in the cold
of that prairie farmhouse
waking in the middle of the night to
a crunching sound, the snow sliding
off the roof, you guess, not a

footstep, no reason
for the cat to cry and spring
to the windowsill, crouching in moonlight
nothing to see - no reason for it
to turn its head
as if watching something depart