Friday, August 9, 2019

new from above/ground press: Eldon, letters, by Pearl Pirie

Eldon, letters
Pearl Pirie

Those who have left

I want you to know that I remember Aunt Alice. She wouldn’t let me leave without some books, often slipped me some Fireside Books while we visited her. She was getting frail then. You knew her when she was a force to be reckoned with. How many times did you tell me that she saved your frost-bitten ears. She was mid-wife to your mom too. Your job as a young lad to take the cutter and go fetch her in the snow storm. So much responsibility for your young heart. I never asked. Which sister or brother was it being born? How old were you?

    too cold to wash
    smears from
    the window—
    my father
    would've been ninety

You heard Iona passed? It seems presumptuous to tell the dead who’s dead. But there sure are a lot of you.

Incoming – Harold too.

It is a crime that assisted suicide wasn’t allowed for so long. It is now 3000 have done it. He’s bedridden and has been for years. He’s blind and deaf. Jean goes from the senior’s home to see him every other day and Irene is doing the other days.

    your auctions receipts
    a memento from each old friend—
    broken stick

They had an estate auction, Sheila was telling me, of Harold’s farm. Sheila and I talked probably 45 minutes. A neighbour bought Harold’s tractor. Sorry, I forget which neighbour.

The woodshop was pulled out long ago. You and he talked a long time in there by sawdust and lathe. I turned them in my hands, beautiful golden curls.

    drawn out
    wood shavings

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

Pearl Pirie
has 3 poetry collections with a forthcoming in the fall of 2020 from Radiant Press. These haibun are unrelated to those. She gives workshops and readings sporadically. She lives in rural Quebec with her brilliant husband, scratchy cat and sweet dog. She can be found on twitter @pesbo and you can sign up for her mailing list at

This is Pirie’s fifth chapbook with above/ground press, after the oath in the boathouse (2008), vertigoheel for the dilly (2014), today’s woods (2014) and sex in sevens (2016).

[Pearl Pirie will be launching in Ottawa on August 10th as part of the above/ground press 26th anniversary launch/reading/party]

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

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