Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang – ERIN FOLEY JUST CLEANED HER KITCHEN (INCLUDING THE ELEMENTS ON THE STOVE AND THE OVEN) AND HER BATHROOM. TOMORROW, THE FLOORS, LIVING ROOM AND BEDROOM. SPRING CLEANING, ONE STEP AT A TIME.
ERIN FOLEY JUST CLEANED HER KITCHEN (INCLUDING THE ELEMENTS ON THE STOVE AND THE OVEN) AND HER BATHROOM. TOMORROW, THE FLOORS, LIVING ROOM AND BEDROOM. SPRING CLEANING, ONE STEP AT A TIME.
This morning a rock flew
through our window. My daughter
crying in the bedroom,
a man reached through the broken
glass and turned the lock.
I don’t know if it was my steps
or her cries, small and shattered,
that frightened him. He left
the door hanging, March wind
blowing through the kitchen.
All morning I swept glass,
the window frame rained
shards with every pass
of my broom.
My place has never been so clean.
That evening, my daughter
is in bed, the new window firmly in place.
Still, I’m finding glass under the fridge,
and in the dog’s dish.
No matter how much I sweep,
there it is: the window,
the rock, my daughter’s broken
cry. Small scattered stars.
Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang is the author of the poetry books Status Update (2013), which was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award and the Gerald Lampert award winning Sweet Devilry (2011). She is also the author of several children’s books, including picture books such as A Flock of Shoes, the non-fiction Warriors and Wailers, and the YA novel Breathing Fire. Sarah’s work been published and translated internationally, as well as named to the OLA Best Bets for Children 2010, Best Books for Kids & Teens from 2011 to 2014, and the Toronto Public Library’s First and Best Book List (2012). She is also the editor of two poetry collections, Desperately Seeking Susans (2013), and the forthcoming Tag: Canadian Poets at Play.
To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website here: