The sky buttoned
with ashen clouds
slicing cold

steam curling
from sewers
from scarf-covered mouths.

People rush by,
heads bowed, eyes downcast,
foreheads creased

when all at once
in a hedge along the sidewalk
three rufous-sided towhees

an ebullient chorus

kyrie to a sudden
incandescence of sunlight
on cedar branches.

Rona Shaffran lives in Ottawa. Signature Editions published Rona’s first poetry collection, Ignite, in 2013 to excellent reviews. She co-directs RailRoad, Ottawa’s pop-up poetry reading series, was Co-Director of the Tree Reading Series, one of Canada’s longest running poetry venues, and a member of its Board of Directors, where she organized Master Poetry Workshops.  She also sat on the organizing committee for VERSeFest, Ottawa’s international poetry festival. A graduate of Humber’s School for Writers and the Banff Centre’s Writing Studio, Rona’s poems have been published in Canadian literary journals and she has read at literary festivals and reading series across Canada.  Rona is at now at work on a novel and, as always, writing new poems.

Light: A Prayer is the new version of Sliver, which appeared in Vallum 9:2. To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

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