2 poems by Eva Tihanyi

Eva Tihanyi (1)

DESPITE EVERYTHING

For Gloria Steinem


Despite everything we keep going
backward, believe always that
we’re further ahead than we are.

We forget that if the sun hits it just right,
even the robin casts a shadow.

The story exceeds us, embitters
and enslaves, ennobles and enables,
and the darkness knows no borders.

Hope is a form of planning, you say.
Don’t agonize. Organize.

Despite everything
we’ll keep going.





MY MOTHER ANNOTATES A BOOK OF MY POETRY

1.

After her death
her penciled underlining
speaks like a code.

It begins with a scene:
he comes at her, shoves her
against a wall, and then 
she’s down, whimpering
Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me.

What happens next: 
she’s embarrassed by herself, the way
she continues sitting with him
at the same table in the same house,
shoulders slumping.

Nine cans of beer between ten and four,
a woman’s place no longer in the home
because she isn’t safe in it.

They’re partners in a private labyrinth,
one heartbroken, the other
enjoying the mood.

2.

What she remembers:

I was young once
and far more beautiful, and men
came knocking at my door—men
I didn’t think were good enough,
but nothing’s perfect, not even 
thoughts in the head, certainly not
my myriad subversive synapses,
such aberrations.

I stare for hours at air, photo albums,
my whole body nothing but weight, mass,
the solidity that keeps me here. 

Preferable not to think at all.

I chomp, I fawn, I am a sepulchre, 
even at the apex a mere ventriloquism. 

Through no fault of my own,
I am not who I am.

Cracked like a mosaic
left too long in the fire,
I dream of cold, of snow. 

The days pass on, wash
over me in steady currents
as I lie motionless
in a fabulous absence of pain.

It’s easy, this immersion,
like drowning. 

I can say:
there was a birth,
the pain over, just beginning,
a love beyond love,
my child’s name, a small melody.

I can say: 
eventually she grew up.

What I can’t say:
no matter what happens,
will she remember me.

Return to Journal

Eva Tihanyi’s ninth poetry collection, Circle Tour, will be published by Inanna Publications, Inc., in spring 2023. Her previous collection, The Largeness of Rescue, garnered a Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry in 2017. She has also published a volume of short stories, Truth and Other Fictions (Inanna, 2009). Tihanyi lives in the lakeside neighbourhood of Port Dalhousie in St. Catharines, Ontario. 

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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 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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