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Cover of issue #219

Current Issue: #219 Contested Migrations (Winter 2013)

Canadian Literature’s Issue 219 (Winter 2013), Contested Migrations is now available! The issue features articles by Vinh Nguyen, Mariam Pirbhai, Rachel Bower, Maude Lapierre, J. I. Little, David Williams, and more.

Petrified at Every Turn

by Susan McCaslin

From wheelchair row the view can be grim.
You swallow the horse pill of the world sitting down.

A whiskey's what I mostly need,
she said, cryptic, bemused.

This is finally the loosening of words
as when a child is everything

before all divisions and theories.
Nothing matters now but the whispered transmissions.

The eye is the same, mandala of the eye.
Cat tiptoes by, sentient, unconcerned.

These are the proverbs of Phyllis
At Crossroads Retirement Center:

Watch your words. Never
Put your faith in a sphinx.

Beware of chocolates.
Sometimes they shoot bolts of electricity

that blunder around the room.
Don't worry about me,

I'm sitting in the Mercy Seat.


This poem originally appeared in Canadian Literature #172 (Spring 2014), Auto / biography. (pg. 91)

MLA: McCaslin, Susan. CanLit Poets: "Petrified at Every Turn" by Susan McCaslin. canlit.ca. Canadian Literature, 2 Oct. 2008. Web. 22 July 2014.

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