Poetry Pause: Doyali Islam — water for canaries

Poem Author: Doyali Islam Poem title: water for canaries Poem: july 26, 2014. the a.p. photo shows two men of beit hanoun. during the ceasefire, they had gone back to what they called home to find their birds alive amid debris. one pours with fraught hands from a bottle: it’s a small-throated mercy, surviving a strike from the air. but which photo can recall the deft quiet fusing of clavicles into one auspicious fork—bones hollowing—the sprout of feathers—? no memory of the long flight into their bodies—the last singing descendants of a burning world—the first heirs of a new, they preen in their pink cage. their bodies emanate fine clouds of dust. End of poem. Credits: "water for canaries" is taken from heft, copyright © 2019 by Doyali Islam. Reproduced with permission from McClelland & Stewart, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. All rights reserved. Doyali Islam is a 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize finalist for her poetry book heft (M&S, 2019). Doyali has participated in CBC Books’ Why I Write video series. She has discussed the value of silence on The Sunday Edition; language, form, beauty, and empathy with Anne Michaels in CV2; and the relationship between poetry and the body on The Next Chapter. Doyali has also been in conversation with Forrest Gander, and you can find their discussion of grief, art-making, and poetry ethics in The Adroit Journal. www.doyali-islam.com.