Catherine Moss


doors jangle and clang
shut me alone
in the visiting room
    July sun pushes
through the reinforced window
the brown vinyl couch
in bars

my sweater knots itself
around my shoulders
I cannot get last winter's long months
out of my bones
the winter Julie skated
all night
on my skin's thin ice

ecstatic and scarlet lipped
she flung confetti dollars
for a ticket to Tunis six dresses fourteen pairs of
shoes planned marriage in Marseille painted
three new red suitcases with a tropical
forest of orangutans parrots and
huge spiders

now swung north
she curls immobile
in the womb
of a day room chair
head to knees
a heart stopped foetus
face and thin cotton ward dress
faded as mediaeval saints on dank crypt walls

she paints her life
with blank coats
of clinical white
until nothing but a frail grey shadow
of my dancing daughter
shows behind the dark bars

Copyright 1996,  Catherine Moss
Catherine Moss lives in Calgary, Alberta.  Her work has been published in various Canadian literary magazines including CV2, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, and the Windsor Review.  "Polar Regions"  first appeared in the Fall 1996 volume of Whetstone (University of Lethbridge, Alberta.)

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