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Issue IV – RIVER OF TIME – Alasdair Rees

Her first short life
passing from sight.
The women gather

in one house. I am a girl,
when lathering your feet.
You keen, sounding

like a drum, pulled taut
and struck. Your mouth a small
open door. Eight and prodigious,

I smooth shadow from your face,
like light, thumb tears, pledge
my allegiance to allegiance.

A good daughter,
like a healthy body,
is defined by absence

of disease. I am born on a Tuesday
with one hand in a fist, and slide
to the earth’s on a cold afternoon.

When I draw you, it’s in ink.
When I call you on a Sunday,
I tell you I’m fine,

and I rise in the dark to turn
the porchlight back on,
most of our symptoms

briefly asleep.



Chimwemwe Undi is a poet. She lives on Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is Winnipeg Poet Laureate for 2023 and 2024 and her debut collection, Scientific Marvel, is forthcoming with House of Anansi in 2024.