Friday, June 14, 2019

new from above/ground press: Apples and Roses, by Frances Boyle

Apples and Roses
Frances Boyle

You dissolved off the screen, Dot as child and young woman, mom to us,
I’d seek you hard in fairy tale quest, task the gaff-rigged Dorothy to spell

your name Dorothy, in the semaphore of her sails, (plant a rose for me)
launching from time-rocked ocean to tangled notion of wooden ship

and flying house whirlpooled in its funnel cloud, banging wind, the pull
of the tale, and the round table where Mrs. Parker drawled about girls

who wear glasses and Marie of Romania, her wit a charm to the circle of wits
vicious through they were, the round table of that New York moment,

while you were a girl in Toronto. Come night you vanished into the shapeless,
the ready intake of breath. Angels brought three apples, three roses, my purpose.

You planted roses on Angus St., between our house and the next. Driving
by after we’d moved away, you said the new people had uprooted them,

loss in your voice. Yet you dropped roses from your name—Dorothy
Rose to Dorothy Mary, excising your horrid aunt. Connecting

dots, you shed names. Like Dorothy Day, who said “don’t call me saint,”
you did not want to be dismissed so easily. Gift-wrapped, buds still furled.

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
June 2019
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

cover artwork by Manahil Bandukwala

Frances Boyle
is the author of one collection of poetry, Light-carved Passages (BuschekBooks 2014) and a novella, Tower (Fish Gotta Swim Editions, 2018). Her previous chapbook, Portal Stones, won the Tree Reading Series chapbook manuscript contest. Other awards for her work include the Diana Brebner Prize and The Great Canadian Literary Hunt. A second poetry collection, This White Nest, is forthcoming with Quattro Books in 2019. Raised on the prairies, Frances now lives in Ottawa, where she is part of the editorial team for Arc Poetry Magazine, and reviews for Canthius. For more, see her website:

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

No comments: