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Cover of issue #221

Current Issue: #221 Science & Canadian Literature (Summer 2014)

Canadian Literature’s Issue 221 (Summer 2014) is now available. This special issue focuses on science and Canadian literature and features a wide range of articles and book reviews as well as a selection of new Canadian poetry.


by Gillian Jerome

Out at Trout Lake the kids are splayed in the umbra of the sun
feeding gold fish with plankton. There's a glut
as it happens, along the coast so the fish are smallish

and demented. But the parrots have been welcomed
into the noses, ears, armpits, hearts of the children
where they never hasten to repeat

the dirty words they teach them. Nobody hears
their curses but me and so I say them softly back to myself—
Fuckhead, Shitballs, Gaylord.

The sun is a soothsayer with a parched tongue
with lips the colour of iron. Under the Tattletree
I try to glean my thoughts from myself
wondering with all these children at my feet
where the peace went. What it wants to say
to the rank-and-file creatures out for a stroll, of the tamed pigeons breeding
above me in the dovecote. So remote is the island
of myself from my self, even the circuitous circus
of the heart has found in the grass bits

slumber to shut itself up.

This poem originally appeared in Canadian Literature #197 (Summer 2015), Predators and Gardens. (pg. 28)

MLA: Jerome, Gillian. CanLit Poets: "Midsummer" by Gillian Jerome. canlit.ca. Canadian Literature, 13 May 2008. Web. 18 Apr. 2015.

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