Dagne Forrest lives and works in a small town just west of Canada's capital. She shares her life with several other humans, an athletic labrador retriever who suffers from separation anxiety, three cats, and a small flock of chickens. Her poetry has appeared in K'in Literary Journal, Prime Number Magazine, Not Very Quiet, The Moving Force Journal and Sky Island Journal, and her creative nonfiction in Paper Dragon. She can be found at: dagneforrest.com.
For days this spring I balanced on
a spine of ice threading its way
through the wood, the slippery
remnants of a deep snow pack.
It ran like the submerged backbone
of some ancient creature crouched
beneath the perpetual shade
of this northern forest.
Either side of the ridge my feet found
decayed leaf litter, warming mud,
the ground in a half-thawed state.
No longer able to stride, I slipped
gingerly across this half-frozen
prominence, aware that too much
concentration would be as unsafe
as too little. I tried to keep my
focus quicksilver: noncommittal
yet ferocious under the surface.
Exactly the state I occupied when
I had to balance on the smooth
leatherette surface of a backless
stool in the MRI room for two hours
as my son was scanned yet again.
The headphones barely muffled the
ceaseless ticking and thunking
all around us, the voices of
the technicians talking to him.
I never felt so invisible and
culpable as I did on that treacherous
perch—the balancing act I had
to endure hardly payment enough
for the faulty genes we'd bequeathed.
Melvin Sico is a corporate finance specialist with over ten years of experience. He has a background in investment analysis, equity research and structured finance. Melvin has covered a wide spectrum of industries including telecommunications, biotechnology and healthcare. He has experience in financial modelling, valuation and investment due diligence.
I used to have vivid dreams way back
When I was taking carbamazepine
For my seizures which I used to have
After I broke the thermometer
Which contained mercury
That I saw rolling away
In its frantic escape
Perhaps thinking I would
Put it back in its glass prison
But I had no such intent
I simply wanted to touch it
To see if it will go
Deep into my skin and into my bones
And in a cold ember’s embrace
The mercury did dwell within me
Smouldering in my corpuscles
Causing me to walk unsteadily
And for a time I believed that I was broken
That I was not among the chosen
And I began to see haloes on fallow fields
The adamant spectre of the quicksilver
Reminding me not to fight its conquest
And after eons living
With the mercury inside of me
I started with Tegretol
200 milligrams daily banished the seizures
Lurking in the channels of my brain
But then the dreams it dredged up
Told me to be afraid of many things
Of serpentine instructions hastily written
On the back of milk cartons
Of being consumed by nitrous flames
Borne on trodden glass
Of a steel-braced Via Dolorosa
With its vapours telling me
To release the mercury in my bones
But one day the dawn insisted
I give up the carbamazepine
And with that the quiet collisions stopped