Ranch style homes squat
along Rural Route 4,
their view of the horizon broken
by a ten-year-old girl, not wanting to go home.
Every seven steps white line repeats
then breaks off to grey.
Plush waves of rye wheat
undulate beneath an orange sky,
pressing her down.
This is her house
once a muddy hole in the ground
holding the family’s amazement
as it sprang, Beam upon Beam
into a place to sleep and eat.
Scent of sawdust and new carpet
when they moved in.
In a few moments, she’ll
discover her mother’s body
rolling from couch to floor
as Bob Dylan sings on the stereo.
The girl’s pulse pumps her through
screen door to bring back help.
Her mother will be carried away,
hands waving, in a haze
of valium and vodka, lying
on an ambulance bed. Life saved.
For more information about Little Venus or to purchase the book, please click here.
Carla Drysdale’s poems in Little Venus challenge the reader, tackling the hard subjects of child abuse, sexual exploitation and the failure of some families.
The character of Little Venus runs through the poems burning with rage and want in an incendiary chant that the reader can’t ignore. Little Venus is a haunting collection that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
Click to read an excerpt from Little Venus.
Carla Drysdale was born in London, Ontario and was educated at Ryerson university in Toronto as well as Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Her poems have appeared in Canadian and US journals, including the Literary Review of Canada, Canadian Literature, the Fiddlehead, Global City Review, Confrontation and LIT. She lives in France and is the winner of the 2014 Earle Birney prize.