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Speaking of Death


If I had my druthers I’d pick December
under a sheepskin throw.
In full view, attending to me,
a constellation of earthly possessions:
eyeglasses, ginger tea,
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson.
Logs flaming in the stone hearth.
Hung from a nail, a winter scene
framed in mahogany—
horses trotting through fresh snow
or a Christmas cabin nestled in the woods,
smoke drifting sideways from the chimney.
Riches for the eyes,
and for the ears, as well:
the Great Mass in C-minor, swelling,
rising as it would from a dour cathedral.

I could slip away in summer sheets,
white Egyptian cotton, of preference.
Nibbling on toast
I would lie in bed, pale as a moth,
gaze longingly through the soft sheers
as sunlight fades over an English landscape—
woolly hilltops brushed with lavender,
chittering birds perched like quarter notes
on a thatched roof
before taking flight along the path of the stars.

unnamedCarolyn Marie Souaid is the Montreal-based author of eight poetry collections and the acclaimed novel, Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik. Her videopoem, Blood is Blood (with Endre Farkas), garnered a top prize at the 2012 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin. Her work has appeared in The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly the Literary Review of Canada and elsewhere, and has been featured on CBC-Radio. In April, she will be reading at the Sierra Poetry Festival alongside Hélène Dorion, Alain Cuerrier and Endre Farkas.

vallum_17-1_cover_webThis poem was originally published in Vallum issue 17:1 Home.

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