Rising Signs by Chimwemwe Undi

a golden shovel after John K. Samson


I move towards renaming this
the other season. Let’s call this light our holy crop
sprung up after the fallow stretch, after we withstood
and wandered, bitched, rapped against the
sharp part of the curb, dislodged salt and those reluctant months,
the year we thought we would not see the other end of,
so, our reward: this bright harvest, lumen echoing the snow.

Peep a curved and dripping beak and know us scavengers,
curled over the end of day. Here, my dark hand
your short glass, the fire inside, brown as blight.

Like earth or an ankle, we turned
and became a hopeful throng of bodies again. Every
summer is like this. The hot part of the year
carries the rest of it, buckles, moves towards
its old meaning, is its own kind of heavy. A
collapse, long-anticipated, can feel like relief. Oh tiny
death. We can feel the winter lengthening
to swallow us, her arms widening, her mouthful of
song, wider than the sky, as blue with light.

And after, the seasons lost and found.
Forgotten herds, once-yellow mitts, and sure, a
myriad of unchanged things. The city wanders in its way.
The river promises to rise.


Copyright © Chimwemwe Undi. Originally published in Prairie Fire (40.1, Spring 2019).


Chimwemwe Undi is a poet living and writing on Treaty One, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her work has appeared in RoomArc Poetry Magazine and at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She is an editor at CV2, a poet-in-residence with Poetry In Voice, and a second-year student at Robson Hall Faculty of Law.

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Prairie Fire is an award-winning Canadian journal of innovative writing that is published quarterly by Prairie Fire Press, Inc. Each issue is a fresh, vibrant mix of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction by our most celebrated writers and the hottest new voices of our emerging writers. It consistently features solid writing that will engage your mind and delight your spirit – and has been doing so for over 40 years!

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