• Nora Curry

Poem of the Week: Visit



It's been a bit since Book Talk by the Sea has featured a Poem of the Week, and today it returns. Poetry complements all seasons, but there's a particular soothing quality to the way it embraces autumn's nostalgic aura and earthy undertones. Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang's poem "Visit" uses typical autumnal elements of leaves, apples, and orchards but with them encases a brief, haunting, beautiful narrative of familial love and loss. It reminds us that father-daughter relationships (and our bodies) are of the earth, as too is the harvest of autumn.


Tsiang is a poet and children's book author from Kingston, Ontario. Her debut collection of poetry, Sweet Devilry, was published in 2011, and she has gone to write additional award-winning work, much of which is full of the experiences of motherhood. "Visit" was featured as part of the League of Canadian Poets' Poem in Your Pocket Day collection.


Visit


I saw my father yesterday,

sitting on the wall of his mausoleum.

He held my hand and told me he forgave me

and I asked, for what?


He smelled of apples, an autumn of leaves

for skin. I remember you like this, I said,

a harvest—an orchard of a man.


He opened his shirt, plucked a plum

from his lungs and held it out to me.

Everything, he said, is a way of remembering.


- Sarah Tsiang

From Sweet Devilry

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