Summer 2022, Volume 43, No. 2
Our annual contest issue! Check out the winners of our 2021 writing contests, as well as new work from Kat Cameron, Rocco de Giacomo, Richard-Yves Sitoski & more!
Cover image by Tetro Design Incorporated
Rocco de Giacomo
Sarah Yi Mei Tsiang
Ian Clay Sewall
The Woman from the Bottom of the Lake by Halle Gulbrandsen
Don’t forget the camera, Carl calls to me from the other room. We’ll want a good photo of her.
We are going to see the woman tied to the tree. She was caught in the lake last week by a fisherman. There was a two-page spread about it in the paper featuring photos of him in a grey vest with far too many pockets, colourful fishing flies hanging from his chest like Boy Scout badges, and the woman, naked and thin as paper in his arms, her skin seeming to crinkle where his hands tightly gripped her. Thought it was a sturgeon, the fisherman was quoted saying several times.
As Carl and I walk to the park, he maintains a constant two steps ahead of me, eager as ever, tongue practically lapping the wind. This has been big news for our ten-block town in the valley. Huge. All week, people have been driving across the province to witness the woman who came from the bottom of the lake with their own beady, curious eyes. Our typically quiet streets are now crowded with tourists in their sunglass tans and travellers’ hats, cameras dangling from their necks like candy necklaces, hungry for photos and proof. I can’t relate. I haven’t eaten a thing all day, my stomach curling up like dried–out orange peels. I just want this whole ordeal to be over with.
After the Funeral by Karen Enns
There were many in that small stucco house
beside a field and in the dark.
Many sitting on chairs around the rooms.
And God was there, they said, and I had seen His shape,
His hand, in the light around the lamps and polished tables,
the plates of food laid out.
I was nine. Upstairs, the window where I stood
was low enough to let the dark in, all of it,
its animal thickness, shifting, changing,
and the black leaves in the night scratched at the window
and moved in the trees over the field.
Moved over her as she rested on the current, rested
in her last resting, her thin hands folded on her chest,
the skirt close at her ankles, the black shoes tied,
her good blouse….
Let Us Be Honest with One Another: to the Child with Disability by Shane Neilson
Red crayon. Daddy credit card. Remote control.
Wavy flower. Sit mower. Snake.
Bean chair. Medicine. Poop.
Fairy tales are a standard means of instruction for children. But then there might not be anyone who is in your life to tell you such stories, meaning that your fairy tale might involve someone tucking you into bed at night, or perhaps someone who loves you, a form of privilege so rarely identified. Another strategy is required: let me tell you a fairy tale, the kind I’ve made up on the spot for all three of my children at night. From the outset, I declare that this little tale is for all those who are able to read it or to hear it. I write a fairy tale as personal dream, one in which you can save yourself. I write this tale after having suffered some as a child, but surely not the most of all; I write to you to acknowledge that you are there. In the writing that you see (or hear) before you, and in all other writing, you are not alone….