A List Before Departure

Summer, 2007 / No. 18

I will put all my clothes in boxes, address them to myself

with old-fashioned labels and perhaps forget to keep any

for the journey. I will dismantle the room

for broken chairs with great potential,

fished out of the garbage, but leave untouched the cellar.

In building the house, I had left a room for looking

glasses, one for art, a room for a pile of fire. The stoneware lamp,

taken from the junk man for two wiggly glassed windows,

I will bring to light the way, the plug trailing limply

behind. I will leave the flour, the frozen butter

awaiting transformation, the rolled oats;

I do not wish to make things for a time.

I will claim to have only run away from home, overcome

with lichens from crawling through the old soft fences

of Ontario border farms. Like other women

who have successfully lost their minds, I will exist

on raspberries, thieve new eggs from their nests, and find

my night fears quelled by gentler rural bogeymen, their absence.

Katia Grubisic lives in Montreal. She is a writer, editor, and translator whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Grain, and the Fiddlehead. Her poetry collection, What If Red Ran Out (Goose Lane, 2008), was a finalist for the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry and won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Last updated Christmas, 2010.