This issue features writing from Winnipeg's Indigenous and Métis writers! New works by Duncan Mercredi, David Alexander Robertson, Beatrice Mosionier, Marie Anneharte Baker and more!
Katherena Vermette—if it were a river
Tabitha Martens—Two Poems
Jordyn Pepin—Two Poems
Jeremy Botelho—Excerpt from Another Absence
Niigaanwewidam Sinclair & Scott B. Henderson—Path to Reconciliation
Lance Guilbault—Two Poems
Warren Cariou—Two Poems
Joshua Whitehead—Excerpts from Jonny Appleseed
Michelle Lietz—Two Poems
Lynnel Sinclair—Three Poems
Beatrice Mosionier—A Story Told by the Campfire
Marie Anneharte Baker—Three Poems
David Alexander Robertson—The Walking Stick
Jason Stefanik—Two Poems
Garry Thomas Morse—Yella and the Yams
Duncan Mercredi—Three Poems
Patrick Grace—"Childhood," c. 1951
Tyler Keevil—Cassandra to the Sea
Shaun Robinson—Two Poems
Penn Kemp—Tomorrow's Memoir
JL Lori—It's All Fun and Games
Rocco de Giacomo—Two Poems
Sebastien Wen—Two Poems
Christopher Graham-Rombough—The Request
Martha Brooks—The Dressmaker
Anna Moore—Just Like the River
Niigaanwewidam Sinclair & Scott B. Henderson (Comic)
Garry Thomas Morse
David Alexander Robertson
Marie Anneharte Baker
Rocco de Giacomo
The two girls stood at the edge of the circle for a few moments, looking it over with great curiosity and watching a small trail of smoke dance its way into the air from the fire pit. They walked towards the pit, sat down on the ground, and fished out their snacks from the backpack. They ate in silence, enjoying the rest and the calm, because though strange, it was serene. After they finished, Kathy put her arm around Jayne and they stared at the embers together.
A dying fire that didn’t seem to die.
“Who do you think was here before us?” Jayne asked.
“I don’t know,” Kathy said.
“Maybe that’s who we were supposed to find.”
Jayne’s head had been resting on her big sister’s shoulder, but it suddenly popped up. “We should look for treasures!”
Kathy agreed, mostly because when Jayne got excited like this it was against the laws of nature to say no to her. They scoured the area, inch by inch, but in the end, found nothing except for some footprints—one set from a man, both Kathy and Jayne thought, and another set of small ones. The man who had left the large footprints was clearly wearing shoes, but somebody with naked feet had left the little footprints. It was all very strange, stranger than the clearing itself, and it was Jayne who said to Kathy after this discovery, “What if Grace left the footprints?” because they didn’t know anybody else who had smaller feet than Grace’s.
Kathy said, “No, they’re not Grace’s.”
“But they look just like her size, Kathy!”
Kathy shook her head slowly. “We need to stop looking for her, Jayney. She’s not going to just pop up and say, ‘I’m here!’ like she used to.”
Jayne didn’t say anything for a long time after that. She stood there, rotating the walking stick in her hand, and staring into the remnants of the fire pit. It made hissing sounds, like whispers, and for a while they were the only sounds at all.
are not just
along gravelled highways
now all paved
cutting through the great forests
felling poplars, pine, spruce and birch
making foxes run, owls screech
bears and deer hide
blue jays, robins and chickadees
even crows sit sullen
It was my ex-lover who wielded the blinding sword.
The salle was full that evening, a jumble of students sparring up and down the strips. I was learning to referee, standing beside my lover as he fenced his opponent on the piste. He was three points down in the five-point match, and vexed. When he was twelve years old, he’d fenced in the Junior Olympics. He’d gotten his ass kicked by the French kid and promptly quit, hadn’t held a sword in twenty-five years. We enrolled in the beginners’ foil class, but I soon realized that his skill and fervour were far beyond.
I scrutinized the match carefully, shivering at the clang of blades. It’s called a conversation, and these two jabbered fast and frenetic. Advance and retreat, thrust and parry, the slices of steel resounding through the room. I was crowded against the wall on the last strip, the air from the dancing blades rushing my face. I had my mask on, which is not normal for refereeing, but I was close, too close, and I damn well knew it. My lover, with those long legs so advantageous for fencing, lunged an assault, thrusting hard. But his opponent was wily, not a beginner either. He parried, disengaged his blade and riposted, landing the point square to my lover’s chest.