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The following poem is about a woman who has decided to get a divorce and leave a relationship fraught with control and dominance:

You Think You Know Anything About Doormats?

This doormat just got legs and it's standing up

It took its time

Waited it out

Hoped for a peaceful transition

The in-and-out traffic of the door

Provided a soft place to wipe your feet

Or remove your shoes

It was welcoming - it was giving of itself

Over time with constant use

The doormat was drowning in melting snow

Eating shit

And playing dumb

It was drugged and drug

Just to show up

With its tidy fringe

A betrayal pierced a hole in the weave

And the mat felt under attack

Uncertain if it could continue playing the game

It had been witness to so many attempted escapes

But it kep getting the dust beaten out of it

Laid back on the floor

For fear of punishment

Until this doormat got legs and stood up

Pulled back its truth

It cancelled the steam clean

Refused a particular pair of shoes

The doormat knows fear is a prison

Strategy is escape

Courageous and planful in its care

To rebuild a foundation

This doormat just got legs and it is standing up

On sturdy beautiful floors

That are grounded in intention

It is a home and a place of belonging

Just beyond fear

The doormat has been woven with golden threads of beauty

Fine chains of a compass lace the edges

Flower petals have dyed the fibres

And this doormat just got legs and it is standing up

For a life of freedom

 

The following poem was written for a young indigenous woman and mother:

The Hunter and the Bear

Sometimes I am the hunter

Smelling that smell

Of earth, dirt, and water, and air

Hunting the city limits

For pockets of nature,

Of beauty

Of leaves my daughter can crunch 

Beneath her feet

Hunting for connection in dreams

And meaning in challenges

And truth in everything

Sometimes I am the Bear

The fierce Mama Bear

Who protects and fights and never loses sight of her young

Even the ones she only sees in her dreams

The Wise Bear with instincts that knew even as a child

That a person is more important

Than a can of beer

The Brave Bear who risked it all

To protect the young

And still keeps watch in the "no go zone."

I am connected to my culture

My spirit

My family

Sometimes, I am the Hunter

Sometimes, I am the Bear.

This poem is from a conversation with an Indigenous man:

Homecoming

Surely

With the 215

You cannot turn away from the Truth

We always told:

For five springs I went to him

Begging for a job, an escape

From the beatings

From the loneliness

From the shame

From the train tracks.

There were 6 of us in my family:

I am the only one left of our generation,

Stolen to unlearn the Truth

Of who we were

To have the Indian slaughtered 

Out of our bones and souls.

When I was 13

He said "yes"

and saved

my 

life.

I worked hard for decades:

He is still my mentor

And I have become a knowledge keeper

Of both his craft and my legacy.

Knowing that you will walk with us

Allows my journey home

To stand tall once more,

To finally know

How to live again

In these bones,

With this soul.

The following poem is written for a young queer woman who is struggling with the physical symptoms of anxiety as a result of disregard and queer-phobic questioning of her experiences:

Wonder

How do you build a life

Within your own skin

In a world that is scary as hell?

I'll tell you:

If you decide to take a measured look at "scary"

And aim the steering wheel right into it

Even if your hands shake

The comfort in your skin will grow

-It's a wonder.

And after you decide that foursomes aren't for you

And your ride picks you up

And you drive into the night as your hands shake

The knowing in your skin will grow

In the presence of a friend:

-It's a wonder.

And after you risk

And lean over to kiss the man

With the beard for the first time in your life

And he turns out too shy

Or after you risk

And smile at the woman who has a belly just like you

And she turns out too straight

The hope in your skin will grow

-It's a wonder.

If you look at skin and blood and bones

And ask them what they long for

They might tell you:

I want to build a family

A chosen family

The one I painted when I was six

The one to jump into cold water with

The one to go to Xmas parties with

The one to care for a kitten with

The one to drive long into the night with

The one to trace our ways into our skins with

-Like wonder.

My hands tell me

My longing

Is for "family-esque"

And so

With shaky, tender hands

I brought home a kitten today:

We're ready.

Therapeutic Poems
The following represent a sampling of poems that were written for some of our clients here at the CNC.  

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