Garry Thomas Morse—Dream Snatcher
Catherine Hunter—Calling You
Patrick Friesen—Two Poems
Nicholas Bradley—Two Poems
Angélique Lalonde—The Pregnancy Test
Curtis LeBlanc—Two Poems
Isabella Wang—Two Poems
Dora Dueck—Burial Grounds
Sara Cassidy—Two Poems
Why We Walk
Tanis MacDonald—Take Back the Night
Hejsa Christensen—Rising from Paralysis
Lorri Neilsen Glenn—The End is Where You Start From
Warren Ward—Walking in Berlin
Fran Westwood—Lindauer Passion
Jenna Butler & Yvonne Blomer —On Leaving and On Going Back: Women Walking
Bonnie Larson Staiger—Memory Care
Madeleine Nattrass—Walk for an hour in the forest
Kim Fahner—Two Poems
Lacey Yong—The Climb
Lorne Daniel—Two Poems
K’ari Fisher—Y-stick Spankie
Amber O’Reilly—Two Poems
Jenna Butler & Yvonne Blomer
Garry Thomas Morse
Bonnie Larson Staiger
Lorri Neilsen Glenn
Sue sweeps the metal detector in an arc before her as she walks beside the train tracks, and it boops in excitement every time she gets too close to the steel rails. The grass and thistles here are higher than our knees, and the hidden ground is uneven. I’m following her, armed with a hockey stick, hooking up every shiny thing I see. But all I’ve caught so far are tin cans, a rusty thermos, and about a hundred bottle caps. Sue stops and bends forward, hands on her thighs, to stretch her spine. I stop too, lean back as far as I can, look at the sky. Grey clouds, no different from the grey clouds every day this week. On both sides of the tracks, beyond the two wide strips of yellow prairie grass, stands a long row of high wooden fences, separating us from the backyards of this new, or new to me, suburban development. We’re in a long, deserted corridor.
Sue lets out a low groan. She drops the detector and lowers herself until she’s lying down. Right down flat on the railway ties.
I walk the cobbles in the rain,
soaked legs, arms. There’s been years of wet,
years, but the bakeries are open and the pink
and salmon houses crowd in close to warm their hands.
January roses climb brick walls and the Bodensee
is bluer than the pictures. Far out under the fog
the red-banded New Lighthouse lingers loyal at the harbour.
Months on, and the red fretwork of sun in the topmost branches of a balsam poplar transports me instantly back to Assisi. Such an uncanny leap of the mind from the midwinter prairies to Umbria in the heat of summer leaves my body momentarily stunned into stillness. I’m home, but I’m restless, the pinch of winter circumscribing the days. The brief curve of light before the early darkness. My body resigns itself to winter walking, the tightened stride and dropped gravity of a woman accustomed to navigating on black ice, glare ice— all the different ways my balance can detonate beneath me. Winter on the prairies leaves my body aching at the end of the day with the cramped necessity of holding myself upright. I long for summer’s expansive stride and Assisi’s bounded streets, the warmth of the rose stone walls ensconcing my evening walks with Yvonne.