Current Issue Excerpts


LARA BOZABALIAN

Listening



At the dentist's office, you open wide,
Explore utensils with your tongue
Look up at the hygienist and I am amazed
That you are my son, your place in the world stable,
Your brows placed peacefully over your gaze.
I swirl back to your arrival, blue (endlessly silent),
And the months after, the world of corridors that we travelled
Waving at nurses, getting tea, browsing gift shops and pharmacies
On the way to another (and another and another) assessment,
Chest/heart/brain/muscle clinics - the miracles
Never ended, or the beeps. Doctors kept returning,
Proclaiming your intactness. Each time,
I embraced the news as a body swallows beauty
- In spite of itself. As today, as I watch you
Address this gentle woman - a toddler knight,
Gracefully interacting with a world
That stumbled as it let you in.

LARA BOZABALIAN is the author of two poetry collections, The Cartographer's Skin (Piquant Press) and Tourist (Tightrope Books). She has appeared at literary festivals across Canada and in Ireland and Singapore. Her work has been published in literary journals such as the New Quarterly, the Dalhousie Review, Prairie Fire, and Nashwaak Review, and was longlisted in both the Montreal International Poetry Prize Anthology (2012) and Best Canadian Poetry (2015). In 2017, she was appointed coordinator of the online teaching program for Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope Books).


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