Saturday, 9 October 2021



by Conni Cartlidge

she walks

stumbles along the gravel 
shoulder by herself
lonely punishment for too many
sibling disputes in the back 
        seat of the ‘64 Dodge

trips down the deserted 
street at 2:00 a.m. hopped 
up on bennies and beer
sings out loud, hopes
she finds home

falters down the steps
to the church
basement, joins the other drunks
with a smoke 
and a prayer

across the living
room, down the street, up
the street, wrapped in a blanket
then naked
with her newborn boy

pushes the stroller with colicky infant
through mucky puddles, points
to the pussy willows
fuzzy babies
on fresh branches

trudges across frozen
field to her father’s confused 
call for comfort
curses his 
demented mind

wanders alone beside
the dammed creek, surrounded 
by scrub oaks, ravens,
bloody mosquitos

walks, sometimes, simply

* * * * *

When Conni Cartlidge was little, her mom took her to the library weekly and her dad read to her every night. Now, she curls up on the couch with her grandchildren and their favourites. A retired college instructor and emerging writer, Conni’s work has been published at CBC Online, in the Winnipeg Free Press, in Pure Slush books, and in Voices, the journal of the Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group.

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