each Sunday morning

by Moni Brar

we pile into the old green chevy
vinyl seats cool against our backs
the buzz of excitement licking away
fermented sleep in the corners of our eyes
young limbs entangled on the back seat

father drives past the one four-way stop
the liquor store and peeling strip mall
through small streets and smaller dreams
to town’s edge where tarmac turns to gravel
where pines hide pussy willows and grizzlies

we know mother is hoping that this time
we will find—
a kitchen table that wobbles less
a dresser to replace the milk crates
a lampshade to conceal the glare of a bare bulb

into the hope that fills the car
you squeeze in a five-year-old’s wish for—
a doll with all of her limbs still attached
an etch-a-sketch that can be fixed
an unstained picture book

our eyes brighten
at the sight of the towers we will scale
to sift through mounds teeming with treasure
we plug our noses against the rot of peels and pits
pick through bones not scraped clean

amongst the rags and broken things
we collect what has been discarded
salvage what is no longer wanted
gently wipe it clean
and see dignity in its gleam


Moni Brar (she/her) was born in rural India, raised in northern British Columbia, and now lives as an uninvited settler on Mohkínsstsisi (colonially known as Calgary). She has multiple nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize and was the winner of the 2022 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award. She is an alum of Tin House and The Banff Centre. Her creative work can be found in Best Canadian Poetry, Passages North, The Literary Review of Canada, Prairie Fire, Room, PRISM, and Hobart, among others. She believes art contains the possibility of individual and collective healing.


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