Summer 2021, Volume 42, No. 2
It’s our summer contest winners issue! This issue features new work by Conor Kerr, Meg Todd, G.A. Grisenthwaite, Tanis MacDonald & many more!
Cover Image by Tetro Design Incorporated
Alexandra Mae Jones
Kim June Johnson
Diana Hope Tegenkamp
Marc Herman Lynch
Those Who Have Not Seen Yet Believe
Standing at the edge of the bush, Luke scans the Learys’ yard through the scope of his gun. Until now, he’s only glimpsed the yard from the road on their way to St. Joseph’s for mass. Missing shingles, cardboard in place of a porch window. Smoke twists out the tin chimney. He imagines the Leary brothers sitting together in front of a stove. Unshaven. Smoking. Holes in their dirty socks. Fly shit on the kitchen cupboards. What would he do if their porch door creaked open?
Cold fingers stroke his neck. A breeze carrying the earthy smell of a spring shower. Time to go. He whistles to his dog. Nose-deep in the Learys’ rotten straw stack, Laddy ignores him. Stupid. He wants to yell his dog’s name, but silence seeps from the spongy ground, the wet leaves and grass. It fills the bare trees, the sky. An empty church of silence.
Diana Hope Tegenkamp
My father as rhythm in lakewater
After Sharon Olds
Already, my father has stopped steering the boat, carried by wind
that blows across the lake, and entered a rhythm, blue bowl of sky
and his cells, assembled in his body, an idea of love and majesty.
His current coursing through silt, trout, yellow perch,
mud, and algae, it hurts, yes, to watch him flash, from wire to wire,
branch to wave, my funny dreamer, as if he set out pulling
all the summer holidays and prairie winds and Boler camper behind him.
On April 22, 2020—a day dedicated to frolicking in the grass and dancing beneath the sky—I stuffed myself into a back closet instead. Between the mop and the broom, I built myself a little broadcast room. I hung a quilt for a curtain and turned a trestle table into a desk and began to read into my computer to a few dozen people.
Beyond the attic cupboard at the top of the stairs,
I don’t know where this quilt came from.
But it warmed me, on arrival, while the world, bent on survival,
turned a cold shoulder, and aroused in me the stranger’s guilt.
Here we are, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and we earthlings,
instead of gathering around the fire, sit before our separate cyber-hearths,
forced to stay inside.
And so, left alone to our devices, how will we honour the Great Outside?
Will we create, sedate, improvise or just hide?