publishing poetry only

Monday's Poem

© 2010 Kirsty Elliot

Kirsty Elliot lives on Lasqueti Island. "After the Wake" is from her first book of poems dark bright, forthcoming from Leaf in March, 2011.

After the Wake

I sift through her ashes when i am alone.
It feels a sin to touch the inside of her bones.

While trying to dry the neighbour's casserole dishes
I see red through my black veil.

A dead silent box betrays her.
uMaurier king size hidden under tea towels.

I consult my grief archives to remember how to deal.
But guinea pigs are more straightforward than Mothers.

I ask dad how she felt at 28, when a dentist broke every tooth from her mouth.
He says it didn't seem to bother her much.

On good days she filled newspaper cones with homemade chips.
On bad days she gave us Silence cut with Vacuuming.

On the flight back to Whitehorse i am bumped to first class.
Aw thanks god, that's sweet of you.

Before i can even eat breakfast, frickin Jan Arden on the headset has me weeping into my merlot.
The man beside me reads his Globe and Mail harder.

Spring?! After alienating the roommates, my new puppy Lily and i move into the greenhouse.
We sleep in a cabbage bed and listen to records while rain taps the glass roof.

The first summer explodes like a technicolour aria and i have never looked so good in a string bikini.
Girls glare at my body and wish someone they loved would die.

It is said unresolved grief causes hair to sprout on a woman's chin.
My electrolysist assures me this is nonsense.