3 poems by Alene Sen

alene sen


throw a net
wait and see
       catch me
       trap me
       cage me
i am more than meets the eye
i flit
i flutter
i want to fly
you know little of what you keep
take a pause and look at me
see the tears trickle down
hear my heartbeat
i want out! 
you hear me shout
i am not a thing to train
but a person with a brain
head lifted, i proclaim
        with thoughts
        with words
        with action
do not snuff my spirit
with ideals of perfection 
pass me the key
so i may set myself free
       from lies
       from abuse
       from disguise
i will stretch my wings 
soar to the sky
you will see
i am beautiful
being free
being me

life is like a crate of lemons

right – left 
front – back
lemons come, all at once
too dizzy to keep track
some are smooth
firm, bright
newly picked 
juicy and ripe
some are shriveled
patches of brown
too long, they lie 
rotting, on the ground
the tart makes my jaw tighten
the sour makes my tongue curl
the bitter makes my face contort
what a cruel, unfair world
lemons come like bombs
fast, like baseball pitches
never missing their target
sinking me into ditches
for so long
lemons ruled the day
eroding my spirit
turning hope to decay
not today…
today, it is not lemons
who win the war
but i, who rise
more pliant than before
today, i will not topple
bruise or fade
today, i take those lemons
make lemonade


through trauma
comes fear
of cycles in failure
beliefs of not being enough

through trauma
resilience expands
a crack of light
ebbs through rigid shells

through trauma
a birth of second chances
breath gives promise
oxygen fuels action

through trauma
alternate paths are paved
tread with boldness
seize the day

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Alene Sen (she/her) is an author of non-fiction and poetry. She is the author of Program Without Walls: Stories from Toronto Parents. Alene writes about lived experiences, resilience, and hope. Her work has appeared in The Toronto Star, Today’s Parent, City Parent, and numerous anthologies. She is a regular contributor to HOWL Open Mic on CIUT.fm in Toronto, Canada. She writes from the United States and Canada. Connect with Alene on Facebook and Instagram @callmealene.

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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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