Parhelion by Joanna Lilley

Poem title: Parhelion Poet: Joanna Lilley Poem: The coldest day of the year, cats sneeze, dogs dance, and you think it’s a coincidence you’ve overslept. Once you’re up and out, never such separate feats, it’s the best meditation you’ve had. Kicking snow on the way to the bus-stop it tinkles as it skitters, lit by star and street lamp glitter. Your scalp is tighter than a child’s toque by the time the bus is rattling you through noisy air. At work, everyone else is later than you. You sit through indoor thigh-burn in your coat of dead duck feathers. You’ve had two meetings by the time it’s light and people are saying a cloudy sky would be a good thing on a day like this, but you’re gawking out the window howling for a sun dog. End of poem. Credits and bio: Copyright © Joanna Lilley Previously published in The Fleece Era (Brick Books, 2014). Joanna Lilley lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, with gratitude on lands stewarded by the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. Her latest poetry book, Endlings, won the Fred Kerner Book Award; her first poetry book, The Fleece Era, was a finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry; and her novel Worry Stones was longlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award. Joanna has a master’s degree in creative writing from the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow and a postgraduate certificate in creative writing from the Humber School for Writers. Joanna loves sharing the joy of words and has given readings and workshops as far afield as Alaska and Iceland. In 2021, she received Commissioner of Yukon’s Borealis Prize for literary contribution. Find Joanna online at