Heather Cadsby — Quick question

Poet name: Heather Cadsby Poem title: Quick question Poem: Speaking of good parenting I asked her how to be a natural mother. Or she asked me. It was blowing up a storm and we all knew a south wind brings rain. At least in that area. You couldn’t drink the lake water. One father added chlorine to a pail of it. The speaker said boiling would have worked. But it was all after the fact. No one succeeded at farming and every story was terrible. I wanted to make pine-needle pin cushions to sell. Child’s play but I didn’t know how or when to be the mother. The area was granite rock covered with roots. I was searching for earth though most girls wanted saddle shoes. But, and here’s where it gets confusing, someone yelled Listen to this: I am a rigid angry thing trying to be a mother. I am a wild shaking thing trying to be a mother. Don’t you know a mother can be a thing of arrogance and narrow mind? I was leaning on my elbows and staring off. They said the mother went back into the house-on-fire. They said the father went too. They said the parents didn’t know the baby was already out and safe. It grew up as best it could. End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Heather Cadsby Originally published in Could Be (Brick Books, 2019) and also in the 2019 Poem In Your Pocket Day Booklet by the League of Canadian Poets. Heather Cadsby was born in Belleville, Ontario and moved to Toronto at a young age. In the 1980s, along with Maria Jacobs, she produced the monthly periodical Poetry Toronto and founded the poetry press Wolsak and Wynn. Also at this time, she organized poetry events at the Axle-Tree Coffee House in Toronto and Phoenix: A Poet’s Workshop. In recent years, she has served as a director of the Art Bar Poetry Series. Standing in the Flock of Connections (Brick Books, 2018) is her fifth poetry collection.