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.
(provided for the poem “A Little Distance”) 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.