Margo LaPierre and the Arc Board also selected three honourable mentions:
At dusk the dog is all hesitation
as I try to head down the hill,
green-brown and scuffed in the late
spring drought. When did the prickling
honeysuckle bushes become so
menacing, their blossomed bulk
to be avoided on the way to the wood?
As if we’ll make it that far,
when the dog is frozen in place,
as though expecting a zombie
to appear at any moment,
out here in the middle of the field.
Evening’s shade deepens,
brushing the edges of the grove,
fertile ground for revenants and bad dreams.
I try to make up my mind
about when to turn for home,
while coaxing the dog a little further,
unwilling to cede the distance.
Some days, facing the walking dead
feels like it would be simpler
than the unfinished business up at the house:
I could just run, not look back.
Dagne Forrest’s poetry has appeared in journals in Canada, the US, Australia, and the UK. In 2021 she was one of 15 poets featured in The League of Canadian Poets’ annual Poem in Your Pocket campaign, had a poem shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and won first prize in the Hammond House Publishing International Literary Prize (Poetry). Her creative nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Lake Effect, Paper Dragon, and Sky Island Journal. She also belongs to the editorial and podcast teams of Painted Bride Quarterly.
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