This isn’t the house. / Unregulated Waste Management Facility

This isn’t the house.


This isn’t the house I grew up in.
We’re both set in our ways.
I’ve walked on trails that pass uncomfortably close to trees.
I’ve walked on trails that humans don’t use.
I found the head of an animal with fur still on.
This isn’t the house I grew up in.
We’ve both gone our own ways.
I spooked a grouse and set him running.
I found the house of an animal with fur still on.
I walked past the feathers of the caught grouse, tumbled.
She’s gone to feed the fox.
This isn’t the head I grew up in.
I walked past feathers, loose, and lasting after everything alive has left.


collage showing a farm house, old photo of a mother and children, crops, and chickens
Past/oral by Brenda Whiteway


Unregulated Waste Management Facility


Listen, all kids love
to play at the dump.

I have no sister, but
the trash is flesh to me.

We all have normal dreams
of empty roll-on deodorant.

I have no brother, yet
I’m wearing cast-off shoes.

Kids like it. It’s
a chicken-bone graveyard.

Each one could be
the finger-joint of the gone twin.


Listen to Dawn Macdonald read “This isn’t the house.” and “Unregulated Waste Management Facility.”



About Dawn Macdonald

Dawn Macdonald lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, where she was raised off the grid. She holds a degree in applied mathematics and used to know a lot about infinite series. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in FOLIO, Full Bleed, Grain, Riddle Fence, Room Magazine and Vallum.

About Brenda Whiteway

Brenda Whiteway is a visual artist specializing in painting who lives and works in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. For Brenda, who has a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, art-making is a way to find pattern amid chaos. Her art enables her to communicate ideas and convey a sense of the world around her. From conception of an idea, through the struggle of creating something from that idea, art-making is a process that provides her with sense and purpose. Her current work explores the passage of time—particularly as it relates to rural life, past and present—and the effects of urbanization and technology on traditional ways of life.

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