EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: CATHERINE OWEN

 

 

This is a Picture of My Father Right After I Was Born by Catherine Owen

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This is a picture of my father
right after I was born.

His hair was dark then; his beard
a forest with he lake of his mouth in it,

grinning. Smiling so intensely, in fact,
that he had to hold his head in his hands

so it wouldn’t fall apart from happiness
and his ignorance over what having me would mean.

I was just past blood then, swaddled,
and he in scrubs, and we met each other

first in that realm, I crying out and he
so young in all his confused love for me

and somewhere outside the frame my mother
was getting stitched up and the slow

song of her milk
was coming in.

from Dear Ghost, by Catherine Owen, shortlisted for the 2018 Pat Lowther Memorial Award
Wolsak & Wynn | 2017| 104 Page | $18.00 | Purchase online

Catherine Owen is the author of ten collections of poetry and three of prose, including her compilation of interviews on writing called The Other 23 & a Half Hours: Or Everything You Wanted to Know that Your MFA Didn’t Teach You (Wolsak & Wynn, 2015) and her short story collection, The Day of the Dead (Caitlin Press, 2016). Her work has been nominated for awards, she has toured Canada eight times and appeared in anthologies, as well as translations. She has been employed by both the Locations and the Props department in TV land, plays metal bass and has two cats: Solstice and Equinox.