Canadian Poetry Online top banner link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page

His Ashes Were Shipped to the Country of Birth

Anna Mioduchowska
From:   In-Between Seasons. Rowan Books, 1998.


chain-link fence around a cemetery
empty spaces
      between carefully spaced graves
like pregnant spaces between words
words as people have weight
words      people      weight


cemetery is a giant cradle
and there are those who must return
to the cradle across the sea
inconsequential spaces
no one has ever seen
                        the odd coma
semi-colon
that did not budge the universal scale
one iota

the first step towards becoming
a fully fledged word is to learn
to say it correctly    WORD
spelled w-o-r-d
            learning to spell it
is the second step
the world is full of words that
never did learn to spell
spaces gasping for breath
ah    ah    ah

empty spaces
between carefully spaced graves
souls guided across the sea
by light of the crescent moon only
seeds that fell on lean soil
were watered with rain made sour
with fear, homesickness and work
unfit for a bona fide word
fear again
whose only act of self-definition
was the last refusal to enter
the ranks of carefully tended
words



Anna Mioduchowska's works copyright © to the author.


Canadian Poetry Online bottom banner link to University of Toronto Libraries home page link to Digital Collections home page link to University of Toronto Library catalogue link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page