Upstream by Fiona Tinwei Lam

Poem title: Upstream Poet name: Fiona Tinwei Lam Poem Begins: Highways of still-spawning pinks, ocean to stream. Slick black bodies rise half out of the shallows, slide back, flick past. Stew of fish shreds, milt, dams of waylaid, bloated chum clotted with maggots. Beneath a submerged spruce, a teeming cauldron, hundreds of salmon churning and swirling, the way we churn, swirl, collide, striving and failing to love or hold love or even arrive— our boots slipping against shifting pebbles, air redolent of rot and bear scat as we clamber upstream End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Fiona Tinwei Lam This poem won second place in Geist Magazine’s Jackpine Sonnet contest (formerly titled “Stream”), and is included in its current form in Odes & Laments (Caitlin Press, 2019) . Author of three poetry books (most recently, Odes & Laments, Caitlin Press, 2019) and a children’s book, Fiona Tinwei Lam’s work also appears in over 40 anthologies, including The Best Canadian Poetry (2010 and 2020). She is the editor of The Bright Well: Contemporary Canadian Poems about Facing Cancer. Her work has won TNQ’s Nick Blatchford prize and been shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award and has been thrice selected for BC’s Poetry in Transit. Her award-winning poetry videos have screened at festivals locally and internationally. • •