FathomOnline

 

 Fathom 2002

Cover

 

Inside Cover

 

Poetry

 

Kate Buttery (3)
Julie Perkins(5)
Jennifer Lyn Durkee (2)
Kirsten Horn
John W. Parker (2)
Elena Krasnova
Jonathan Samuel (3)
Sarah Riley
Melodie Umanetz
Olivia Brown and Jessica Young
Fergus J. O'Connor V, Esq. (2)
Gareth Robinson
Charles Ryan (2)
Solange Hupe (4)
Dani Anna Jansen (2)

 

Prose

Angela Pratt
Travis West

[PDF]

Dani Anna Jansen

 

 

Grandma's Wake

Have you ever felt
       as if
you're a lungful of oxygen
       too late?
Twirling walls
and fuzzy floor
  falling
     falling
        falling away from you?

Only twice have I felt this way.
       When,
on seeing my grandmother dead,
eyebrows unevenly painted,
lips the wrong colour pink,
skin cold, not even to touch, but to sight.

       Suddenly
spiraling down the stairs
to the only washroom
and its oh-so-white toilet,
       as cold to the touch
       as her skin had been to my eyes.

The second time is unimportant,
save that it reminded me
       of Grandma's wake.

 

The Picture

The frame is a metallic gray with harsh grooves along its edges.
It's dusty.

The girls in the picture are all smiling, but their smiles are
forced. Eyes squinting into the sun, they smile for the camera
only because they have to. They're scared.

In the background are trees, leafy and green. They tower over
the young girls in the picture, shading them from the cruel,
unforgiving sun.

The foreground is a slippery landscape of rock and moss. The
girls are perched atop a waterfall trickling a pitiful supply of
clear water. The rocks are treacherous with slime.

There are other snapshots, taken just before this one. In each
successive photo, the girls can be found higher on the water-
­fall. The photographer wanted them farther up, always farther
up.

The first photos are of happy faces, girls posing for a friendly
photographer. Soon, the pictures are of scared kids, not sure
what to do. You can almost read their lips: "We can't climb
down!"

Their faces are contorted in fear. They look directly at the cam-
era, hoping for help. No help is offered.

They are so young. They don't know what to do, so they climb
higher until they reach the top.

The most important of the photos is framed. The girls are at
the peak of the waterfall, with a safe path to their left. On the
bottom of the photo, in gold lettering, are the words

"Blomidon Park, Nova Scotia, 1993."

I can spot myself in the photo: an awkward girl of about thir­
teen, gangly arms sticking out of a too-small floral tee shirt
and frizzy hair pulled tightly into a ponytail. My sister is there
too, along with three of our cousins. I'm the oldest, the
youngest, Rachel, is only five. I didn't say cheese.

last updated August 17, 2007 | © 2007 Fathom Publishing
poetry, prose, and artwork © individual authours | website created by Alana Paul