3 poems by Katherine Matiko

Katherine Matiko


A horrifying THUNK. 
Like someone threw
a bag of guts 
at the picture window.
We peer out: it’s not pretty.

A crumpled rag
of a robin lies lifeless
beside the house.
We will have to fetch
the shovel and throw him 
on the slop pile—
that decomposing heap 
of the Unclean and Unwanted;
the offal of our lives.

Wait. Another robin 
has wobbled down 
to fret and worry, 
peck and hop. 
If we brought the shovel, 
would she lay down her life 
for her friend?
Feign a broken wing 
to lure us away
from her Damaged One? 
The One Who Makes Mistakes?

The weather is changing. 
A raw wind ruffles
his bone chambers 
and the robin is raised
from the dead! 
With a feathery lurch, 
he joins his Faithful One;
together, they behold
the sky seethe, grumble, 
and then infuse the earth
with living water.

She seeks shelter in a tree 
but he basks in the blustery 
baptism—and the One Who Saves
pours a new song into his mouth.


This little one
a burrow.

Lines a gopher
hole with dung 
and diligence. 

Swivels to scan
her purview
—fences crops 
ditches roads—
a fading horizon.

Spies a tractor! 
Scrambles below, 
rattles like a snake
until the menace 

Pecks at poison pellets— 
grasshopper carcasses 
shriveled in the grasses. 

Tends sluggish eggs 
and addled owlets— 
a blink of worry
in her dandelion eyes.


This little
wordless one 
hunkers rattled
in her lonely
prairie bunker.


A mythical creature is trapped in my house,
hurling itself against the pane; assailing
this cruel invisibility, this injustice.

I scoop it into a plastic grocery bag, 
open the door and it swoops away, 
relief written all over its whirring wings.

Was it worried? Afraid? Spitting mad? 
Does it sense that to live it needs to fly 
into the glassy air?

Godspeed, I say.

Take your God spark, your ancient story,
and write it all over the sheer mercy
of the sky.

Return to Journal

Katherine Matiko lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada, where she finds daily inspiration for poetry. Her poems have recently appeared in (M)othering: An Anthology (Inanna Publications); Wild Roof Journal, Issue 17; and the League of Canadian Poets’ Poetry Pause. Read her work on Instagram: @katherine_matiko

WordCity Literary Journal is provided free to readers from all around the world, and there is no cost to writers submitting their work. Substantial time and expertise goes into each issue, and if you would like to contribute to those efforts, and the costs associated with maintaining this site, we thank you for your support.


Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount


Or enter a custom amount


Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: