Author Archives: Lauren Carter

About Lauren Carter

Lauren Carter is the author of four books, including the recent novel This Has Nothing To Do With You, winner of the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and the poetry collection Following Sea. Her debut novel, Swarm, was long-listed for CBC Canada Reads. She is a past winner of the Prairie Fire Fiction Contest and the ROOM Magazine Poetry Prize, and has been long-listed multiple times for the CBC Literary Prizes. She lives near Winnipeg, Manitoba.


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painting showing birch trees in moonlight

Birches by Jo Power

If in the silence of the earliest
morning, before the sun cracks

across the sliding glass
of the wide Red River – If in that hour,

like a pocket, the cat quiet, curled
against the inner, ragged hem,

I laced on my running shoes, slipped
into my mud-caked rubber boots,

and took myself outside – If I lay on the lawn
under the wagging fronds of the wolf

willows, silver leaves snagged on the moon
we are waiting to fatten to full – If I did that –

Entered the tunnel of night,
fumbled inside its silence – If I did that,

pressed an ear against the earth’s cool
skin, opened to the muttering whisper

of wind. – If I did that –
What would I bring back?

From the iron silence.
From the night’s thick ink.

What would stain,
what truth would stick,

like starlight
scrawled on sky.


For My Sister in Her PPE

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For My Sister in Her PPE










Recently, a memory of you, asleep
beside me in the wide bed

in Haileybury, your black
hair fanned out on the pillow

like a split seed.
Do you remember

that house? Where we found
the trunk in the attic, full of fancy

clothes, transformed
to our tickle trunk,

holding costumes
for playing dress up. A drapey

black gown glittering
with its embroidery

of rhinestones, the spike-heeled
shoes, leather worn

to metal nibs, and that chiffon
dress, a pale sea-green like the sky

before a harrowing storm.
Years later, or maybe months,

I wore it when I went
as a fairy for Hallowe’en,

and you in costume too,
not protective gear, of course,

or scrubs, or full face
shield back then, protection

from invisible
dangers, but something

so romantic and silly, more innocent
than I could ever imagine you

opting for now. Remember?

That was the Hallowe’en
we got drenched

while trick-or-treating.
My hand-sewn wings broken

by the wet night, your white
veil sodden with sleet.

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