for Lucy

Long-legged at the shore, she steps

and dips her net.

Across the lake, a heron

divines his dinner.

My daughter follows the minnows and their synchronous

shadows — sparks that dash and

turn like glitter, fountaining

out of reach.

On the dock, a Mason jar

filled with lake-water, furnished with weeds, rocks and one fine

flake of mica — home for the day if your name is Topaz,

Flash or Pandora,

each fish — translucent — striped

deep in the centre with a miniature

backbone of silver.

I look up from my book,

wish to capture

my daughter like this: intent

yet idle, her grace taken shape in time’s

fluid material, there in the shallows —

minnowing —

a weave of sunlight

loose at her ankles.


Jenny Haysom was born in England and raised in Nova Scotia. She completed her Master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Ottawa and has since worked for independent booksellers and the Ottawa Public Library. Her writing has been widely published and she is Arc Poetry Magazine’s former prose editor. [provided for the Archibald Lampman Award 2019 Shortlist]

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