For the Journey / I Know You Remember

For the Journey

Grown up and living back near home
carrying only the weight of myself
and a job verging on career, with travel.

An immigrants’ daughter
with no memory of birth, place, or family
save a Nova Scotian childhood starting at five.

Today I’m training to Toronto
(yes, they say that here)
with a vegan attaché of important papers

appointments to keep, and snacks for the road,
including a plastic baggie
of cut carrots—not those baby missile cores

with their white blush of imitation,
but real ones, dug from ‘the’ garden
yesterday, during a February thaw—

so fresh, they aren’t even peeled.
Of course, I’m thinking of place
and roots and hands.

My father’s broad ones scooping back soil
and my mother’s, thin and cool
rinsing carrots at the kitchen sink—

homesick for all they still hold.


Garden of Eden (quilt) by Marilyn Preus

I Know You Remember

It starts with a summer
A sun in the sky, a girl in the grass
The sun is yellow, the sky is blue, the grass is green.

And there’s always a house
Always a door, always a path to the door
Always four windows, a chimney smoking.

And most of a family, stick figures standing
Half the size of the house
All with two eyes and smiles that say nothing.

But the girl?
The girl, the girl is flat in the grass
Drawn last with that stumpy black crayon

Always used up first, its wrapper
slipping down.
Yes, the one you still taste

Tearing into the ends with your teeth
Spitting paper bits and wax
To keep drawing in black.

About Christina McRae

Christina McRae lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Her poetry appears in many literary journals including The New Quarterly, Descant, Prairie Fire, Room of One's Own, Windsor Review, and The Antigonish Review. Her first full-length collection, Next to Nothing, was published by Wolsak and Wynn in 2009.

About Marilyn Preus

Marilyn Preus is a member of the Annapolis Valley Quilt Guild and a juried member of the Nova Scotia Designer Craft Council. She opens her studio to visitors in the summer as part of the Bear River Working Studios. Marilyn has had a long-time interest in textiles and in the late 1960s obtained a night school certificate in designing women's apparel. After a career as a PhD Clinical Geneticist at McGill and Memorial University, she studied civil and common law at McGill and qualified for the Quebec and Nova Scotia Bar. In a state of irresolution, she began spending more time at her husband Clarke's ancestral home in Bear River and, during the Montreal winters of 1997-98, began a few art courses at the Saide Bronfman Centre. The isolation and beauty of Bear River proved alluring and, in 1999, she moved to Bear River and designed her first quilt. Two years later she showed eight pieces at Arts Place in Annapolis Royal. Her show "Silk Journey" captivated its audience by veering from the common perception of quilts into the bold. Some of her various works have been shown at the Mary E. Black Gallery in Halifax. Through her business, Silk Journey, she has works across Canada and in the US and England. See more of Marilyn's work at

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