Will it get us through the winter, this new
smaller love? Compact, slim. You can fold it,
store it easily, though it slips through cracks,
asserts itself when needed, then steps back,
arranging its limbs. Now less bulky, this
unassuming love curls into corners, waiting
quietly. No demands, no promises,
no expectations either: it lies still,
poised in crisp papery newness, well-bound, a
document quickly signed and never read,
not really. Eyes passed over it, pen flashed,
and there it was, a cut-rate love, a new
agreement I do not recall signing,
but must have. For here it is, beside me.
The other fades, recedes. Or that’s the hope.
A thought of it brings joy, so it must die.
Copyright © Sue Sorensen. Originally published in The Prairie Journal (2018).
Sue Sorensen lives in Winnipeg, where she teaches at Canadian Mennonite University. Sue is the author of the novel A Large Harmonium and the non-fiction book The Collar. She edited the essay collection West of Eden and has had poems published in journals such as The New Quarterly, Grain, Room, and Prairie Fire. Find Sue on Instagram and Twitter.