Poetry by Josephine LoRe

josephine lore

Straightening Nails

his granddaddy settled in Ridgedale
North Saskatchewan
a carpenter all his life
and gave the six-year old
a simple task –
straighten nails

for this was a time when nothing
got thrown away, nothing
taken for granted, everything
repurposed, everything reused


and with a hammer and intention
the boy spent his summer
straightening nails

for this was a town where every
window, every
floorboard, every
plank and every
nail saw new life

he remembers driving through town with his mom
she pointing out all the buildings and houses
where his granddaddy had created something
and just how proud that made him feel

all these things made from
his hands, from
existing wood, from
straightened nails

he’s a grown man now
wondering at 40 if he has done
enough, if he has left legacy
enough, wondering what his boy
will keep of him
when he is gone
taken by disease
his spine, a bent nail 


impossible for him to stand
the spasms in his hands so severe
impossible to hold on

in a wheelchair
his son at eye-level 

but you don’t need to be taller
for someone to look up to you

his son sees
the man, sees
the kindness, sees
the devotion, hears
the words that rhymingly
rhythmically honour mother
country, soldiers, granddaddy

he is teaching his son the value
of not bulldozing through life
of saving and reusing
of straightening nails

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a pearl in this diamond world … Josephine LoRe has published two collections:  ‘Unity’ and the Calgary Herald Bestseller ‘The Cowichan Series’.  Her words have been read on stage, put to music, danced to, and integrated into visual art.  They appear in anthologies and literary journals across nine countries. https://www.josephinelorepoet.com/ 

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 is now completing her first novel where, for a family with a Seventh-day Adventist father and a Mennonite mother, the End Times are just around the corner. 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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