Issue 5: Winter 2015

On Rejection and Snow Angels

We must buckle down, finish our work, and ship it out to the world. And then we wait as our creative offspring is surveyed, judged, and more than likely shipped right back home again. Turned down. Rejected. Like the fifth winter storm in February, rejection is unfair, infuriating—and inevitable.

Stars Did

As an adult, I’ve come to expect unanswered questions. I’ve become familiar with the flexibility of quantum mechanics, a science that bends information depending on stances and light. I accept that; I even like it. But maybe kids need more. Faith.


Caitlin McGuire is a fourth year painting student at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax. She created "Mom" for Understorey Magazine. Inspiration for the comic "came at a time when I really did need my mom," Caitlin said. "Funny how life happens that way."

Gathering Mi’kmaq Medicine

"Next year you will be twelve, a time when a girl can become a woman, and you will need to know these medicines.” She braided my long blonde hair and continued, “My mother, your great grandmother, was a medicine woman. She used the medicines to cure people."

Auf Wiedersehen, Pluto

Pluto would have liked it here in Deutschland. Now he is dead, just gone up in smoke. If my mother had let me take him he would be alive today, living on Wienerschnitzel with a squeeze of lemon. He could have played marbles with me in the playground behind our building.

Postpartum: Three Poems

I am wet ash./ Void of all light and warmth/ no hope to flutter about./ A cold lump of what was once so bright./ All joy burned away long ago./ Once so cherished, now discarded./ Used and unwanted/ left with the bleak rain of misery./It does not soak, it does not penetrate/

Three Decades of Silence / Wiklatmu’jk

For years it was this way: stories and poems would die just after their birth while my daughters interrupted me, i was simply too exhausted, or other real life of adulthood ceased the flow of words. Not having access to creative silence was bothersome.


She agreed to drop charges against her father, come/ home. Imaginary charges, her mother said. But not/ imaginary friends. They invited her. To Craigflower Bridge./ That’s a pretty name. A name that sings. I’ll buy a stuffed bear/ for my foster mother, she said. But first, a party.


Shauntay's poem "Grandmother" is published in The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry (Frontenac House, 2012) and most recently featured as a spoken word recording on her 2014 album release Say Sumthin.

The M Word

The M Word examines motherhood and maternity through a very broad lens and includes experiences of motherhood that are often invisible and experiences that are still taboo.

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