Publisher Guernica Editions (1982)
Winner of the League of Canadian Poet’s Pat Lowther Award for the best book of poetry by a woman of the year, 1982
What Makes You Sure?
What makes you sure
one thing is better than another?
I can walk down this sidewalk
with a bag full of groceries –
milk, butter, eggs, oranges, grapes –
I can walk all the way home
and never believe they were ever touched
by a single pair of human hands.
It’s two days to Easter
and I can not buy lilies.
I can’t quite place her death.
Walking back from the supermarket
I’m very careful of the eggs,
I was taught to be careful of the eggs,
never to break anything.
I’ll break the skin of the grapes
against my tongue, but the eggs
I’ll swallow whole.
What makes you sure?
I can live in one house my whole life
and never look out onto the yard
and see the bushes pressing their green paws
against the wind, avid, angry as I am.
Everything wants to live.
Everything wants to live forever.
Poetry Canada Review