Catherine Graham is the author of Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects and the acclaimed poetry trilogy, Pupa, The Red Element and Winterkill. Recent poems have been published in The Malahat Review, Crannóg Magazine (Ireland), Eyewear (UK), Descant Magazine, The Puritan, The Toronto Review of Books and Room Magazine. She lives in Toronto and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. A new and selected volume of her poetry is forthcoming in the United Kingdom.
Winter Broccoli is from her latest collection Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects, designed as a tribute collection to P.K. Page and Dorothy Molloy.
Not for the backdrop, but to enter green.
How should I place my foreign foot?
Already this land unlikens me. Blood-soaked
drumlins. The Antrim accent makes my inner ear bleed.
Oh, but the purrs of a pub in strings.
His voice slips through my sixth sense.
Medicinal split between this and this.
And he is so real. And I am so normal.
Purple hearts sprouting flowers in hedgerows carry
the glisten of sex as the night blows stars to deafen
our ears and we are safe beside the sea’s deep
negotiations, unseen in the forests of our own taking.
I pine no more. My home is his skin.
But the ocean can’t hold without Earth as container,
Moon as pull. No oxygen in ether. Only stars
that fail to shape this winter broccoli.
after “Four Haikus” by Dorothy Molloy