So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed - Award Of Merit (2008) The Word Guild

<i>So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed</i> - Award Of Merit (2008) The Word Guild
A poetic journey with the poet's missionary grandparents to the China they served in between 1923 and 1951. CHECK OUT THE REVIEWS OF BOTH BOOKS (below)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The feeling behind my eyes is older than -----my eyes
its roots run deep ---deeper than the
of what wouldn’t come early in school
deeper than the birdlike way attention
-----settled on a branch
then left it swaying ---abandoned

Did it begin behind my father’s eyes
reflecting London Ontario in depression
when his mother died
& his father was left standing
a barren maple on a winter street

Did it begin behind my mother’s eyes
in a boarding school in China
where her parents’ love came by mail
(when the mail could get through)
a blossom dropping petals in the rain

I’ve ripped out every trace of that feeling
like the cedar shrubs from our back
whose roots I battle each spring
but I know ---oh too well
what’s just beneath the surface

(This poem first appeared in Wascana Review)