Sunday, April 29, 2007

Last Saskatchewan showcase

Shelley Leedahl has written two children's/young adult novels, three adult books, and two poetry collections (another poetry collection is forthcoming). This indefatigable Saskatoon-based author never seems to stop. She writes, parents, travels, takes photographs, runs, takes and teaches classes, and I just don't know what else.
Talking down the Northern Lights (Saskatoon: Thistledown, 2001) is a collection of intimate, domestic-themed poems, looking at subjects from childhood to motherhood to marriage. Here is one I hope you'll like:

Forever: A Retrospective

Take love, then, from the beginning
Through hand-holding breathlessness
to these complacent days, our passion worn
thin as the heels of our socks.
Desire itself is stuffed in a shoebox
and shoved beneath the bed.

When I was eight I took my turn
in the closet with Donnie and his skin
smelled like lemons. I wish we could stay here
forever, but even as those words
left my tingling lips, I knew I’d killed
something and sure enough, the closet
was never the same again.

My sixteenth year journal is written
in codes but in every margin forever,
forever, as if I could toss my love
like a kite toward the boys
And it would always come back

Love after love: the realization,
forever is not the point, never was,
but there it is again, scribbled
on Taylor’s first valentine. Embossed
on my friend’s second wedding invitation.

Shelley A. Leedahl

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