Crocuses, you’re down there somewhere,
but, sorry to say, I forgot you existed.
The New Ferocity gave me brain-freeze;
the continent a crystal skull of ice.
Across a gyre of debris-field waves,
your imperial purple has been dredged from  floods.
Resolved into a dew, soaked earth overheats.

So it was with last spring with the cat. What cat?
I spent a week in and out of bed with death,
playing nurse or doctor  in a backless gown,
hooked to a slow-drip icicle IV.
My sister brought crocuses to block the snow
of overbleached sheets, the view, my mirrored blank.
Name snipped off my wrist, I was free to walk.
At home, my kids swooped, captive songbirds.
Funeral or wedding march? I climbed stair-stop-stair.
And there on the bed was the cat. We have a cat?
I’d forgotten she existed. Only then could I melt.

 

Kateri Lanthier

Kateri Lanthier's poems have appeared recently in Event, Hazlitt, The Fiddlehead and Best Canadian Poetry 2014 (Tightrope Books). She won the 2013 Walrus Poetry Prize, the Editors’ Choice in Arc’s 2016 Poem of the Year and third prize in the London, England-based 2016 Troubadour International Poetry competition. Her first book is Reporting from Night (Iguana, 2011). Her second is Siren (Signal Editions, Vehicule Press, 2017).

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