WOMEN WEAR THEIR HOUSES
Slick ovarian cancer ticking her clock,
talking its way out of every treatment,
Mum died for twenty-six years.
Her last year, from September to March,
I painted my house from the outside in,
began with the entrance that leads to the kitchen,
the bathroom and living room done by Christmas,
then the three bedrooms, the last one, mine.
I neglected my running, my music, my books,
watched TV with my daughter, but standing,
eyes rounding the corners to sneak
just one more coat before bedtime.
My mother crept through, marvelling.
‘The colours, so warm – pumpkin, honeydew, butter –
the trim, so white, so fresh.’
Six months later, her death.
I painted the insides of closets, cupboards, drawers,
Not deep night’s seas surrounding stars,
March days’ chicory bite,
nor boy’s pale tuxedo (ruffle,
skinny shirtfront, dye-soaked carnation)
but his wite eye – blue light the wich bespoke –
her chaunt a placative chop:
dock wynd dip worry.
Let prudence mark his day, sun-gored,
smalt gap in the ice.
About the Writer
Louise Carson’s poetry has been published here and there including in The Best Canadian Poetry 2013. Her collection A Clearing was published in 2015. Her latest effort, a mystery called The Cat Among Us was released in 2017. She has published three other books: Executor, a political
mystery; Mermaid Road, a fantasy; and Rope: A Tale Told in Prose and Verse. She lives with her daughter and pets in