a thin line between by Wanda Praamsma ISBN 9781771660532 high resEXCERPTS FROM A THIN LINE BETWEEN   it wasn’t intended for me to see but I did (in the subject of an email)

the invisible mom

on a hill in a suburb in serbia jon went back julie followed there were two weddings one in serbia one in canada two services two families two dresses two kids baby-girl baby-boy they are already more advantaged than most serbian kids, says julie they speak english and are half-canadian and she is happy they are growing up here: the serbs cherish children the schools are good so much emphasis on art and culture and languages this is europe after all but I don’t want my kids to go to university here, says she I want them to go in canada where there is more


(pause) (pause) (pause) (pause)

the ripe red of an apple

julie wants to be here but she also wants to be there

chilies firing green spice from pile on a market floor

but she knows that once she is there she’ll miss here

saris singing in sapphire

and between all the here-ing and there-ing you often have to ask are you ever here-here? _____ nights on the news desk when a soldier dies and I don’t care anymore I just want to go home it’s one in the morning you've lost your soul, wanda I lost it back in santiago when I wanted to take out rebecca’s ellipsis a drip of soul slithering away with every erasure deleting words revision rewriting still I think that everything is editing or I did for a while when my head felt nothing else people editing their lives those snowplows edit the street, scraping it clean the gardener edits the ground, please no green disturbances on this path dank u wel but it’s strange because then you start to edit your life and the people around you and people don’t like that especially not your husband you shouldn’t bring your work home with you, says michiel right true but all of us do especially the artists, those prickly characters who go around with their heads knotted tightly around their left knees tap them on the shoulder and they jump because you’ve disturbed their quiet churning internal

the grooves in space

kept light kept still

until touch softens the grip

a cardinal line wrapped in tight incisive eddies

in air instead of water

craig says       you’re looking through me, like you don’t even see me _____ Wanda Praamsma grew up in the Ottawa valley in Clayton, Ontario. Her poetry has appeared in Ottawater, 17 seconds, and Feathertale, and several literary non-fiction pieces have appeared in the Toronto Star, where she worked for several years as an editor. She has worked, studied, and lived at various points in Salamanca, Spain, Santiago, Chile, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and has travelled to many places in between and beyond, including Cuba, India, and the Balkans. Praamsma currently lives in Kingston, Ontario. a thin line between is her first book of poetry.