Covid Art by Susan McCaslin

Poem name: Covid Art Poet name: Susan McCaslin Poem begins: Through smoke of particulate air a woman no longer young steps into the bathroom shower  shampoos her shoulder-length hair strands of which fall to the drain threatening to clog the pipes  Bending to gather the wisps in her hands she slides them on the shower’s wall where they rest and curl  line drawings	 magical patterns Matisse-like minimalist sketches formed as from a collusion of hair and foam:  a skeletal dancer  with dervish pelvis  a mermaid’s torso floating on a bed of seaweed  a figure kneeling  head a perfect circle  her gown a drapery  becoming a forking river   where a swan floats above a swimming child  Happenstance and design collide  in a tableau half-made		  half-given  The woman wraps the hairs in a tissue consigns them to the wastebasket  as would a Buddhist monk a sand mandala to the sea End of poem.  Credits: Copyright © Susan McCaslin Susan McCaslin is a BC poet residing outside Fort Langley, BC who has published sixteen volumes of poetry, including her most recent, Heart Work (Ekstasis Editions, 2020). A chapbook, Cosmic Egg, came out through the Alfred Gustav Press in 2021. Since retiring from teaching English and Creative Writing at Douglas College in 2007, Susan has been receiving and crafting poems, giving poetry readings, offering poetry workshops, mentoring younger writers, editing an anthology on birds, and editing a volume of the posthumous poems of E.D. Blodgett. When not writing, reading, dreaming, or being with family, Susan can be found practicing yoga or walking with her dog Rosie along the Fraser River, better known to the Kwantlen First Nations as the Stó:lō. Susan initiated the Han Shan Poetry Project in 2012, which helped save an endangered forest in Glen Valley near her home.