Stephanotis

Christmas, 2005 / No. 15

We walked to the Leslie Street Spit from Queen Street

after my return.

We hadn’t seen each other for more than a month.

Newly shy, intent together,

even after all these years.

I noticed weeds, the other walkers,

how you aimed to joke.

You took my photo by the lake

to generate a keepsake;

I bought a stephanotis.

Dormant on the hoop,

it stayed austere until July,

when out of army green it loosened spry, erratic shoots—

helical around the metal

slats of the venetian blinds—

coiled in pliable embrace

they looped-the-loop like snakes—

elastically.

So they would have been garters.

Elana Wolff is a writer, editor, translator, and designer and facilitator of social art courses. Her latest poetry collection, Swoon, won the 2020 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for poetry. She has contributed to the magazine since 2000. Last updated winter, 2020–2021.