BY FRAN WESTWOOD.
Bark bristles up the yoke of trees,
knobby knots and bent boughs,
olive needles and bare skin--
these few prairie pines
flounce full manes between
the lean bodies of others.
to stay green through winter
while their siblings travel
their sequestered, earthward way.
Call them prophets
call them ancestors.
Forgotten as they are,
these flourishing neighbors
on an icy, gravel road,
lean in, close
over our troubled windshields,
BY FRAN WESTWOOD.
When this is all over I hope I remember
my nana’s voice on the other end of the line I’m thankful
for a measure of good health. Her saying
while I walked to the pond in the dark I like to read stories
so I’m really never bored.
While these days I feel the hurting world,
how we’re holed up inside ourselves and
the fragile cities we’ve made have never been clearer--
but her voice
a tenor of tables and green. I hope I remember
how in the valleys I walked, made so many calls, received
a human symphony, their honest parts, and
in their dark pools and light I learned to hear my own
and maybe even something divine reflected back--
I hope I’ll never forget how I was made. How, alone
without another I trip inward, fail to see
but when we walked and nana sang me her thanks
through isolation the rough shadow of even
ten minutes before shifted its claws from my throat,
knocking my pinched glasses off
and under the low moon, settled
on my knees by the water, I whispered
Fran Westwood is an emerging Canadian poet writing from Toronto. She writes poems that help her pay attention, often on finding belonging and bridges in diverse landscapes. Fran’s work has been published by Contemporary Verse 2, the Poetry Pub and For Women Who Roar. She has pieces forthcoming in Prairie Fire, Inanna's Canadian Women Studies journal and in a 2021 collection by Flying Ketchup Press. You can keep up with her on Instagram @fran.westwood.