Paddling in the Sound

Not long after the election, when the left had failed

to reassure the broken hearted,

and the broken hearted had elected a lunatic

out of spite, I kayaked out to where the light

had never been torn,

to watch the darkness gathering

in the mountains’ seams.


Cool rain on flat seas, ducks ahead of me,

white trails of their wings beating water

as they fled. Fresh scent of snow in the wind.


A loon in the distance

began to call again and again,

a soliloquy from the sea’s grey throat,

each note going deeper into

where a certainty had once lived in my heart.


The longing in the loon’s call—a knife

cutting through rain, leaving nothing behind it

but more longing, more rain.


Author: Adelia MacWilliam

Adelia MacWilliam recently completed her MFA in poetry at the University of Victoria. She wrote about a piece of land that her family had “occupied” since 1905 and learned that if you cast the mythic imagination across a piece of land that has always been part of your life, everything will out. She is co-founder of Cascadia Poetics Lab,, which produces the monthly Red Tree reading series. She divides her time between Vancouver Island and Desolation Sound. An emerging poet, her most recently published poem can be found in the anthology Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds, ed. Yvonne Blomer, Caitlin Press, 2020.

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