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Poetry / Giovanna MacKenna


Issue 1. February 01, 2021


After your funeral, in a house weighted with people
you had known and loved and loathed, I stood, under
the narrow attic stairs and turned the pages of the book
I’d made. The book with photos that showed you walk
from bold-eyed infant immigrant, to flaming adulthood
to crochet-wrapped and smiling in the hospice garden.

Visitors flowed around me, bitter coffee and tiny meringue
clouds flavouring their talk, easing discomforts. A woman
I didn’t know hesitated as she passed. I grasped her hand
pressed pen to palm, and asked, Will you write about my mother?

Later, when there was nothing left but dirty plates and echoing
rooms, I found the stranger’s words for you: She took me in. She
taught me how to make an omelette, so I would not go hungry.


Giovanna MacKenna is a published and commissioned poet and hopes her work will ease conversations about the difficult things which fill all our lives, but are rarely spoken aloud. Find her recent words in Brag, Wet Grain, Dreich, Visual Verse, Dear Damsels and in artwork by The Museum of Loss and Renewal. Twitter: @giovmacpoet

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