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 —
a weave of sunlight
loose at her ankles.
(provided for the Archibald Lampman Award 2019 Shortlist) 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.