My Canadian Novel

The Newfoundland orphange playground and asleep in the stiff nunnery’s bed, the train was stalled at Portage and Main— “Just around then my marriage fell apart.” The pea garden was …

The Newfoundland orphange playground
and asleep in the stiff nunnery’s bed,
the train was stalled at Portage and Main—
“Just around then my marriage fell apart.”

The pea garden was not just her hobby,
but a metaphor for memory and loss;
when the river ice breaks up in April,
I discover my father kept a mistress.

A journal the other woman’s daughter found,
in a cedar chest full of baby clothes,
was the story of a woman’s courage
and how a war wound kept a man alive.

In the Stamford, Ontario archives,
a historical oddity is unearthed
and pursued into Mediterranean hills—
where they’ve never endured a real winter.

This appeared in the July/August 2010 issue.

David McGimpsey
David McGimpsey just published Asbestos Heights, a collection.
Leanne Shapton

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