Space

by Nancy Jo Cullen

Nancy Jo Cullen’s poetry and fiction have appeared in The Puritan, Grain, filling Station, Plenitude, Prairie Fire, Arc, This Magazine, Room, The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2018, Best Canadian Stories 2012, and The Journey Prize anthologies. Her fourth poetry collection, Nothing Will Save Your Life, will be published in April by Wolsak & Wynn—preorder it here!

But maybe this is all mood is, rising grief and its ebb then a winter chickadee on the sand cherry tree. I can write about my dog leaping over a puddle (darling! darling!) but not about my children. Such a terrible affection. They lived in my body and then they didn’t. They rubbed my earlobes and then they didn’t. It is entire or it is abject. I am weary of not being young anymore.

And so my dog jumps over the puddle like a tiny gazelle, like a white-tailed deer bounding across a paved road in the backcountry, except she is neither antelope nor cervine. Later the dog will take her place at the foot of my bed and I might think again about my children pressed against me in sleep when all I wanted was a little freedom, a little space of my own.


Nancy Jo Cullen’s poetry and fiction have appeared in The Puritan, Grain, filling Station, Plenitude, Prairie Fire, Arc, This Magazine, Room, The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2018, Best Canadian Stories 2012, and The Journey Prize anthologies. Her fourth poetry collection, Nothing Will Save Your Life, will be published in April by Wolsak & Wynn—preorder it here!

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