not the house. not abandoned. not the drapes. shivering. not the stale air.
chill. not the stairs. creaky. not the shadows. dark.

not the barn. not the dust. not the hooves stamping. not the smell of leather.

not the alley. not the doorway. not the stench. not the debris. echo.

not the shed. sliver. not the shovel. not the coil of rope. not the malevolence.

not the seashore. not the fog. not the damp. not the rush of waves.

not the forest. not the rustling. not the twigs crackling underfoot. not the bright eyes
in the dusk.

not the lake. ice. not the drifts. not the wind. not the howling.

not the whispers. not the knowledge. the sigh.

20210911_153900Marjorie Poor is a publications editor for Manitoba Education, the editor of Prairie books NOW, and a fiction editor at Prairie Fire. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Fire, Vallum, Contemporary Verse 2, and at Theatre by the River’s annual fundraiser, Wine & Words. She lives in Winnipeg.

This poem was originally published in Vallum issue 16:2 Fear.

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