bereft. a poem by Josephine LoRe

Josephine LoRe

in that photograph
you are standing on nonno’s knees
pyjamaed feet
his hands encircling you
steadying you 

the first boy in the family
after three daughters
three granddaughters
the first boy

        he was sixty-two

the photo tucked 
into the frame of the tapestry
which fills his study wall 

        you flew back with your beloved
        wanting her to know your nonno
        your nonno to know her

        he couldn’t attend your wedding
        sickness stealing strength
        so I asked him to make a video message
        shared with you 
        the morning of your marriage

he had met his beloved at a wedding
when he was just eighteen
sang the serenade beneath her window
in the old Sicilian style

        weeks after your wedding
        you flew back with your bride
        to stand at his bedside
        his withered hand in yours

when you were a child
you would place the palm of your hand
against mine
pulse to pulse
to see how much 
you needed to grow

        your fingers lengthened with the years
        now longer than my own

and as I stood 
at my father’s casket
you came up to me
encircled me in your arms
allowing me to cry
steadying me

        I am sixty 

a daughter, a mother

bereft, consoled

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Josephine LoRe’s poetry has been read on stage and in global zoom-rooms, put to music, danced, integrated into visual art, and published in anthologies and collections in 11 countries and 4 languages.   Publications include FreeFall and Vallum in Canada, Fixed & Free and Tiny Seed Journal in the US, Constellate in England, Ireland’s Same Page Anthology, and the Wild Word in Germany. Josephine has two collections, Unity and the Calgary Herald Bestseller The Cowichan Series   

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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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