Manitoban Literature Competition poetry winner

Graphic by Evan Tremblay


pulled from the depths of mire

by contractions and gloved hands

we emerge to brightness and uncertainty


a disruption of the stagnancy that reigns

over a plain populated with thin trees

like crooked cribposts or ancient tombstones

lining the shores to watery wounds

from a wanton glacier’s thrust

that moved like we moved, crawled, staggered

the first steps we took away from repose


we learned to laugh and slough it all off

old library books, newspapers, birthday cards,

unmailed letters, hoarded cans of tea

steeped in hospital bands and concert ticket stubs,

crumbling dried flowers and herbs

and the friction of day and night

grown thick on neglected surfaces

until the only things we have left

are thinned skin and lucid whispers