Poetry Pause x Biblioasis: Sadiqa De Meijer — Red-Eye

Poem Author: Sadiqa de Meijer Poem title: Red-eye Poem: Dear country, did you wait for me? Did you halt yellow trains as they vipered the engineered rural, did you quiet currents, letting duckweed slowly lock the waters—have you been a grand museum of immobile waterfowl and ruminants, flies on their nostrils, millipede life under leaf rot, stock still—where it rained, did glass drops hover in a splintered universe of damp, dear land, when I dropped the spindle, did you pull the main? Did you freeze in the air the motions of bicyclists, hooligans, vendors, classroom chalk scraping in cursive, past imperfect—was there a static silence on all radios? Sunrise. Here is that private sea scrolling in, typing you an endless letter. The plane makes its fluid, plummeting turn, and my window fills with land. Here is the clay that holds the brittle calcium of them who made me, have they waited— because I waited for you, in my blind and percolating marrow all the years I waited, sleepwalking, speaking a daft language flawlessly. Now the roads are ribbons, and the cars begin to crawl, and I would like to rise with you; I’d like to be so awake. I’ve drunk repeated coffees from a small and unbreakable cup that a child might use to serve tea to a wiry monkey and a one-eyed bear. But I have left her in another country, sleeping. And my hands shake. End of poem.  Credits: Copyright © Sadiqa de Meijer  Originally appeared in The Walrus © (2018). Also appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2019 (Biblioasis, 2019). Reprinted with permission of the author.  Sadiqa de Meijer lives in Kingston. Her poem sequence “Great Aunt Unmarried” won the CBC Poetry Prize, and her collection Leaving Howe Island was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her poetry also appears in the anthologies The Next Wave (Palimpsest Press, 2018), Steeds Op Reis En Altijd Thuis (De Turing Foundation, 2018), In Fine Form, 2nd edition (Caitlin Press, 2016), and Beyond Forgetting (Harbour Publishing, 2018). Photo credit: Cat London  Biblioasis is a literary press based in Windsor, Ontario  committed to publishing the best poetry, fiction and  nonfiction in beautifully crafted editions.  Best Canadian Poetry 2019 edited by guest editor  Rob Taylor, series editor Anita Lahey, and  advisory editor Amanda Jernigan (Biblioasis, 2019)

About Best Canadian Poetry:

Launched in 2008 by Tightrope Books with former series editor Molly Peacock, the Best Canadian Poetry Series features fifty Canadian poets annually, drawn from Canadian literary journals magazines, both print and on-line. Each year, a distinguished guest editor (2008, Stephanie Bolster; 2009, A.F. Moritz; 2010, Lorna Crozier; 2011, Priscila Uppal; 2012, Carmine Starnino; 2013, Sue Goyette; 2014, Sonnet L’Abbé; Jacob McArthur Mooney, 2015, Helen Humphreys, 2016, Hoa Nguyen, 2018) selects the poems based on their intellectual, artistic, or inventive merit. The editorial taste changes with each new volume. The special Best of the Best Canadian Poetry: Tenth Anniversary Edition celebrates ten stellar years of the series.

As of 2019, the series is being published by Biblioasis and currently thrives under the stewardship of series editor Anita Lahey and advisory editor Amanda Jernigan. Best Canadian Poetry ushers readers into the heart of the diverse Canadian poetry scene. The anthology is a must-read for anyone with a stake or interest in contemporary Canadian literature.