Ellipses V:

unequal division of labour: i can’t do the dishes
without my shirt getting wet
like warm baked bread made on gusty summer mornings
i prefer to eat the rules rather than live by them.

i feel a vastness of days when you’re not here
stirring the pot of promises beside me
each evening arriving, already flattened
by someone else’s rolling pin.

this feeling belongs on an island,
tucked away in the changeover space
between tomorrow and today.
a slip of paper soon forgotten: tarnished terribly.


Ellipses IV

The trees wear tall, prickly green hats on their heads: nightcaps
I stare at the straight line of their guard until my eyes go numb, from refusing to blink
Plastic chairs, a charred can of something, and the campfire where talk becomes loose

“You’ll make a good wife someday”
Oh, so you think everything I’m doing is leading towards the end-goal of marriage?

The trees grow a bit taller in their silence, standing sentry
I thought they were on my side.


The sparkle that resides in each new day is a force unseen—
it’s become a force within. She is bright, forever beside me.

When I think of her I think of the truest, most genuine music:
a fiery and sweet accompaniment to each new day.

I hear her in the way birds call and sing to each other from the leaves of trees,
their notes left to reside and resonate richly in my heart, keeping me company.

I hear her in the quiet way that flowers grow, greeted by soft blue butterflies.
Meanwhile, the luminosity of the sun cannot pretend to compete with her, at all.

I hear her in the way the ocean speaks swiftly, leaving watermarks on my heart.
I see her in my dreams when she is not needed elsewhere, and am grateful for the visit.

She glitters inside raindrops, a whisper on the wind that plays with my hair.
A dazzling radiance—finest beauty—forever flying fearless forward.

Growing up, we got in trouble together, thinking we could get away with doing
the opposite of what our parents told us to do (duh). And now, more than ever,

each secret she told me is a treasure, a gem to hold tightly in my hand
and carry with me wherever I go. So this is what I do.

In cherishing her, we are wrapped in blankets of air-light, golden courage—
our hearts full to bursting with her song.

Scan 171740001

In loving memory of Taylor Marie Bell 
October 10, 1993 – December 23, 2013

Ellipses III

We forget that when we experience heartache,
every part of our body feels heavy and sore,
a moving collection of rock remains and leftover
bramble knots.

I put on my wool-lined rain boots,
lacquered in their winter mud,
and go out, again, to look for more
answers before dinnertime.

Self-portrait as a ghost that cannot be pinned down or turned into silk

I am not an object.
I am the explosive night sky:
each star an instant of lived experience.

I am not the ornate glass owl that sits on your shelf,
never expressing more than its purpose.
(I am not ornate at all.)

No, I breathe life into spoons and forks,
I lift metaphor to my lips with a kiss,
I amplify the meaning of objects.

I am not a flock of old socks but on gunmetal days I transform:
I am the bottom drawer in a bureau,
threatening to spill over into mysticism.

Despite poetic intention I am not an object.
But I have felt the mizzle of objectification
on my body like a coat that is too tight.

When the zipper gets stuck and I ask for help,
will you see me as more than one thing?
I am a white gold ring worn on the wrong finger,

a snag on your gaze—torn.
Being likened to one object,
I bear witness to ghosts.

© Being Women Today 2017 ebook


as part of being accountable for my place in this world
i must express an aspect of my identity that informs my movement:
i am a settler, all these years later

i wear a white lace glove on my hand a privilege an axis
on which my opportunities are hinged
and the spaces through which i move rotate
i am a guest, a gust of wind

that carries forward the momentum of ongoing colonization
of victories that were claimed by conquerors my ancestors
who tried to erase and deface the people who were here first
and the land on which i am a guest

i am a guest, a visitor, a worthwhile witness and wanderer
i benefit from the trail of imperialism my ancestors left behind them
i am a settler on stolen lying treaty land
i am uncomfortable with this fact

i know that we who are non are still implicated
whether through conscious recognition or denial
we participate in the process of progress, that white-centric word
we are part of the machine of nation

i carry the legacy of being a settler on my skin
i am accountable for this and i will take it up in poppies
this is complicity, this is my corrosive culture
i see the resistance the resilience you demonstrate

i see the history, the truth behind the forgetting

© Being Women Today 2017 ebook