Elisabeth Spinks


Revealing Why

Your warm hug good-bye
kept brief and brotherly,
a friend lingers curb-side,
bags in the car.

You couldnt talk about poetry,
literature or philosophy.
So why make you stay
another ten years?

To send me off to the spa,
serve hot tea with my pasta,
make my cheeks ache from banter,
to listen, listen, hold me if I cry?

But you couldnt talk about poetry.
You savoured Bukowski, scowled over Eliot,
but never revealed why.
Never pierced any surface, but mine.

You couldnt talk to me about poetry.




On the Occasion of My Cat's First Birthday

Before the Serzone. Before the Zoloft.
Before the disability forms.
Winter passed in counseling,
with Deborah who asked about tomorrow,
Anne who asked about yesterday.
Before my brave return to the competent
world of matching suit and shoes,
my evenings curled on showroom couches
in furniture stores and open-houses.

The long summer in pajamas.

Before the cancerous phone-call from my cervix.
Before he bought me a kitten to love,
named Wolfgang after a boy buried young.
Before the heating-pad I couldn't give up,
clutched to my belly because spring wasn't
warm enough.

Before returning the borrowed car
quietly to Donna, who understood,
I walked up the bumpy-plastered stairwell
before me -a shadowy tangerine tunnel -
to lie in silence beneath a wooden angel,
eyes fixed, womb emptied.




A 31-year-old Brit/Canadian, Elisabeth Spinks has recently moved to Phoenix from Vancouver, Canada, and is still acclimatizing. She is a Sundress Poetry Slam winner, and webmistress of TheCriticalPoet.

In this issue:

Esther Altshul Helfgott : Michelle Cameron : Alison Daniel : Deborah Finch : Jean Frances :
Fiona Robyn : Elisabeth Spinks : Sandy Steinman : Tasha : Tilotamma : Georgie Young