Lynes directs the MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan
in Saskatoon. Her forthcoming poetry book, Bedlam Cowslip: The John
Clare Poems (Wolsak and Wynn, Bookrider Books) is her seventh
collection. Jeanette's novel, The Factory Voice, a tale of women
workers in an aviation plant during World War Two, was podcast on
national radio and long listed for two awards. Jeanette recently co-edited Where the Nights are Twice as Long:
Love Letters of Canadian Poets with David Eso (Goose Lane Editions,
Lake. Muskoka, 1968
The walls sprouted antlers. Staged snarls.
Down at the lake he seemed a bit old for a
but what did I, all silly cedar-ness,
The lake cold but beat memorizing
And we had the essentials: water, food (an
Our counselors had each other, their cabin
flared marshmallows before the bonfire
(From our lower bunks we heard those
marshmallows go kablooey.)
Down at the lake I pictured Father, Son,
and Holy Ghost
in those old bathing suits striped to the
When the moment surfaces who ever
‘Don’t talk to strangers’ –
We always talk to strangers, were born for
No stranger leaves without an answer.
No, I couldn’t swim (why I stood dumb in
only to my thighs, trembling). His hands
tamped my skull, hasped my knees.
In the silt murk below, the two pale
coffins of his feet.
My tussle must have scored his fix, his
the feel of me clawing at the world until
it heaved back green –
until the pines grew the right way up.
what he needed, it seemed, an image of me
mounted on the lodge wall. The coffin feet
The lodge decked with taxidermy, grace.
Roll called up yonder. Fish cutlets.
Counselors glow-y, blissed.
Near the tragic bear, an otter,
high on the log wall. How close I came to
their catastrophic club. What did some
stranger ask them,
I wondered, to nail those brimstone
© Copyright, 2015, Jeanette
All Rights Reserved.