Author Archives: Christina McRae

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.

For the Journey / I Know You Remember

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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.