Swimming for Safety. A poem by Sage Tyrtle


Swimming for Safety

pregnant, I watched this tv show on Wednesdays
in the opening credits this crying toddler would run
into his mother's arms like people swim for lifeboats

and I knew that would be us

but I am the crying toddler chasing after the cat
the cat who is you, who loathes hugs
who yowls when I hold you like a baby

sometimes when you are asleep I perch
gingerly petting your back, smelling your hair
reminding myself you like me, just not hugs

when you are six you run into a metal pole
you are silent for a moment and then a fire engine wail
you run to me the way people swim to lifeboats

tomorrow you will be curled up inside yourself again
purring to yourself in solitary contentment
but, just once, my arms were your safe haven

Sage Tyrtle’s stories have been featured on NPR, CBC, and PBS. She is a
Moth GrandSLAM winner. When she was five she wanted to be a princess
until her dad explained that princesses live in a dystopian patriarchy,
so she switched to being a writer instead. Twitter: @sagetyrtle

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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