Poetry

Permeable


words sway
speak sideways
slant in silence
I stand
exposed
where words
say and unsay
drenched in speech
on an uneven dock
wet voices wash over
my every bone
without seeping
through
impervious souls
won’t slip
won’t fall
won’t drown
learning to ride the riddling waves
but
mine may not
be
water-
tight

Stratford_Madeleine_2014 Madeleine Stratford is a poet, literary translator, and professor at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. Her first book, Des mots dans la neige (anagrammes, 2009) won the 2009 Orpheus Poetry Prize in France. Her French version of Ce qu’il faut dire a des fissures by Tatiana Oroño (L’Oreille du Loup, 2012) was awarded the 2013 John Glassco Prize by the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada, and commended by the jury of the 2012 Nelly Sachs Translation Prize.