Issue 16.2 – Poetry

Issue 16 - PoetryThe Winter

 Memories of him

Are always his truck

With frost growing on the windows

Like a living creature

Waiting for your vehicles to warm up

After jazz rehearsal.

Any chance to spend time together

Is time well spent.

Breathing into your mittens

Teeth chattering, toes numb

An average Alberta winter night

-40 at 9:30 PM and not wanting to leave.


Sitting together and laughing

Over nothing and everything

Sometimes he scrapes the ice

Off your car windows.

It warms your heart.


The Spring

Going on walks as the sun

Stays up longer and warmer

Getting slushees at the Shell

Going to the local slough

Dipping your toes in the water

Groups of friends

Sly looks at each other

Always lagging behind

To look at plants and birds

With the buzz of mosquitos

Just rising from still ponds.


The Summer

Camping together where you

Race bikes down the dirt roads

Fishing on the lake from a cramped tin boat

Dropping goldfish crackers into the water

Laughing so hard your face hurt.

Night time around the fire

Warm with your family and him

And smiling

Happier than you think you can

Ever be.


The Fall

Fall comes early in the prairies

The leaves are already dead and yellow

On the ground in September.

Waiting anxiously

To see the class lists

Feeling childish devastation

When he wasn’t in yours.

Craning your neck in the hallways

Looking for his hair

Like a shimmering copper beacon

Always finding an excuse to walk

Up to him

With him

Talk to him

Playing games of M.A.S.H. where

You always end together.


You still remember being 8 years old

Assigned to a science project with him

It was the most excited you’d ever been

To research frogs.

Processed with VSCO with f1 presetKristen McLaughlin was born and raised in Grande Prairie, Alberta, where the surrounding northern prairie landscape became a large influence in her work. After a stint of living in Vancouver and getting her degree in archaeology, she is currently in Toronto, Ontario, where she is finishing her master’s degree in museum studies. Kristen is also a photographer, a flautist, a traveler, and a warm-weather creature who simply enjoys storytelling in a variety of forms. This is Kristen’s first publication and she hopes to continue to write honestly and without fear. You can find her on Twitter at @kris10mclaugh

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