Sunday Night Bingo

Sunday Night Bingo

— For Mom

All grief, anyone’s grief,
is the weight of a sleeping child
— Anne Michaels,
Fugitive Pieces

Your first born sleeps eternal—
A whisper in the ear
A bundle swaddled
at the bottom of the breath.

requiem exp

Requiem by Jennifer McLeod

I, alone, am the promise;
The fountain of youth,
the only ovaries left.
All the eggs in one

basket-case who tosses back Fireball
in the bathroom stall
of the Kinsmen, while you
organize sheets, situate charms.

Each clinging to our rituals
of comfort, our gimmicks
for chasing down luck.
I grow careless with my numbers,

uninvested in the cards
I’ve been given.
Oblivious; omnipotent,
the bearded caller continues,
I sense without looking,

your eyes
over my shoulder,
searching, as always
for what I may have missed.

Having learned in the most
unfathomable way
that life is a gamble,

you give yourself

to these games of chance—
addicted to beating odds,

chasing jackpots.

About Michelle McLean

Michelle McLean is a former high school English teacher, currently a clinical social worker, and has written poetry for most of her life. Her work has appeared in Quills, Ascent Aspirations, Open Minds Quarterly, Toward the Light, Arborealis, Emerging Stars and Other Voices, and is forthcoming in Lamp in Hand and Joypuke. She is a grateful award recipient in the 2007 Dorothy Sargeant Rosenberg poetry competition for “young writers of unusual promise.” A collection of her children’s poetry placed second in the 2007 Writers' Federation of New Brunswick writing competition, and she received an honorable mention for a poem submitted to this year’s competition. Writing poetry has been both a compulsion and healing process in her life. Michelle lives in Carlow, New Brunswick, with her loving mother, devoted husband and their exceptionally awesome daughters—and greatest spiritual teachers—Sophie and Lily.

About Jennifer McLeod

Jennifer McLeod writes: I grew up in the Eastern Townships of Quebec but spent most of my adult life in the mad mad world of New York City. I recently moved back to Canada and have settled in Newmarket, Ontario. I have always loved creating and won my first award at age nine for an SPCA poster. Since then, I have explored many media, exhibited in numerous gallery and alternative spaces and undertaken many public and private commissions. My work is in the Morris County Museum of Arts and Science, the PBS collection and in offices throughout New York. It is also in numerous private collections in Canada, the US, England, Japan and Brazil. In addition to gallery pieces, my work has included such diverse challenges as biographical mixed media pieces, mural creation and restoration, soft sculpture displays for stores, theatre set design and the design and execution of the stage costumes worn by the pop group The Monkees in their reunion tours (about which one reviewer in Oxford, England, wrote, “The costumes alone are worth the price of admission”). Articles about my work have been featured in Women Today, the New York Daily News, Crain's and Futureale magazines.

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