Happy days

The sun crisping my skin.
Waves birthed on the bay, foaming at conception, breaking amongst themselves.
Washing silt onto shore.
The smell of damp earth and marine greens.
Sand ants march over my toes; every now and then
One nips audaciously at my skin.
(If this is the price of peace; I do not mind).
You lay beside me.
Comforting in your proximity.
I am safe.
I am loved.


Day 1
A warm summer day,
Luxurious sunlight we haven’t seen in weeks.
Bloor bustling with limbs and faces and trays of sample iced tea.
Turn on to Runnymede and keep going.

Step into the doctor’s office
(Really a house)
(Really the basement of a house)
Such is the state of things.

The basement
The office is dark.
Which is an odd touch for the purpose.

Set the scene:
The long couch, one end curling like a ram’s horn, where your head is supposed to lay.
And the impassive authority on the chair opposite.
The impassive authority of whom the previous has praised as the ultimate.
To whom the government offers the people’s taxes
Because he is educated and knowledgable.
Feel free to get comfortable.
I am sitting in a dark basement.
I can hear his roommate above us.
He crosses his legs.
He places his head in the palm of his hand.
He stays like that.
The clock ticks and the hour passes
And he stays like that, we stay like that,
Until the hour ends and
“That’s all the time we have for today.”

Day 2

Again, I sit.
Again, he sits.
Head in his hands.

Where did you study?
You’re supposed to be doing the talking.
How can I offer
The pain in my heart,
Lord supreme of smothering silence,
To a stranger?
(Albeit one with a medical degree,
Framed and stamped on the wall behind him).
I despair
As the hour passes
And he looks up from his silent self-caress to note
“That’s all the time we have for today.”

Day 4
More of the same.
Salutations, silence, and
“That’s all the time we ha-“

Day 7
I suppose our therapeutic style will be silence
Go fuck yourself, old man.

Day 9
If this is the ultimate authority,
I am doomed.

Day 11
A family member passes.
I call in to report.

Day 20
Before resuming his position, he hands me a paper.
Your bill for the previous session
I called in.
You were under the impression that was sufficient?
Well, that is unfortunate.
I cannot afford this.
That is similarly unfortunate.

Day 26
I enter the basement
Fuck off.
I enter the basement.

I do not think this is working well for me. I will not continue.
Do you want to know what I think?
Of course.
I think you’re a troubled woman who will require years of extensive
Wonderful. Good day to you, doctor, hope for the despondent.

Happy Holidays

Green and red,
Green and red,
Your eyes are Christmas colours,
Bright against the snow
Crisp and crunchy underneath your shoes
Smeared and stained with vomit
As you stagger screaming down the sidewalk;
Your rage, your pain,
Echoing across the street.
And just before the jealous winter wind
Takes you from me forever,
You turn around to face me,
And say
“Fuck off!”

Not all

From when I was young,
Family friend Auntie would come and sit,
Approach me,
Eyes brilliant and bulging with the weight of knowledge,
And she would say:

“Never get married.
Never in your life.
It’s a miserable existence
To be someone’s wife.”

And my heart would race,
And my eyes would widen,
Perhaps I would have appreciated the joke had it not been for

The way my mother’s hands trembled as she sat.
The way the walls of each house
Held more screams, rage, sadness
Than the one before it.
The way aunties and grandmothers and cousins and family friends
Smiled perversely with jaded eyes,
“Oh, marriage, oh, men,”
And began again.

Introductory post


My name is Catherine. I’ll be doing the full, 24-hour marathon. It’s my first-ever marathon, but I’m pretty excited for the challenge.