Girl Gives Birth to Thunder by K.B. Thors

It was more a clearing
of space than conception, a slice

less electric than imagined.
Lightning rods are crosshairs

of least resistance, so why
go out of your way

to carve cold room root
cellars for another

collapsed shaft
of parenthood? The wedge we

want is a clamour—cutline
access to seismic legacy data.

Earthquakes are new around
here, diamond-tip drilled.

A grand idea: falling in love
with a quarter section, then spelling

sky out for the rest of my life.
Riding this derrick all the way

down until someone drowns or
drops a match and it all goes up

and on again, down the road
to a reserve town

where the tap water isn’t
yet flammable.

There’s no such thing as legal land
description in the province

of weather modification—home
of eugenics and clouds scalloped

with silver iodine. They say it
prevents hail from ruining crops.

Somewhere between hoodoos
riddled with spit cups I ripped this

pair of truck balls from the winch,
packing lift-kit stomping grounds

this generation
hand to mouth.

Count the mountains
between contractions.

Get ready to rumble. Baiting
the prairie is disaster—synapse

gone lickety-split
to seed, rigging

my itch to pile drive
a personal well.

If I could frack
this spine

I would.

Fuck derring.
We epidural-do.


Copyright © K.B. Thors. Winner of the 2015 Vallum Award for Poetry and originally published in Vallum (13:1 “Open Theme”).



K.B. Thors is a poet from rural Alberta. Her debut collection Vulgar Mechanics is forthcoming from Coach House Books in fall 2019 (Canada) and Partus Press (Iceland/U.K.). Her translation of Stormwarning (Phoneme) by Icelandic poet Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir was nominated for the PEN Literary Award for Poetry in Translation and won the American Scandinavian Foundation Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize. Winner of the Vallum Poetry Prize and an Arc poem of the year finalist, her poems and essays have been published across Canada, the U.S., and U.K.. She teaches writing and literature and lives in Montréal.

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Vallum: Contemporary Poetry is a Montreal-based literary magazine. Founded in 2000, the biannual magazine publishes poetry, art, reviews, essays, and interviews by writers and artists from around the world. Our magazine and contributors have won some of literature’s highest honours, including Pushcart Prizes, the Governor General’s Award, National Magazine Awards, and more.

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