When your house catches fire, I’ll free the dogs.
I’ll wrap your vases in paper and stop
fingers from shakin’. Look you in the eye.
I’ll consider pink-sheep-skin, I sleep in
the holes of my pockets, my hands dug deep.
No coins, no bills, but ain’t no poor one here.
I still got jewels in throat — embedded,
planted well behind the voice, the word box,
and still the birds flock ‘round me, as they should.
We got things to get done they’d say. I’ll stand
there — solid. My face red, hot, wet, hungry.
Feed the hand, or the hand that feeds us all.
It don’t matter where you grow it, we’ll eat.
Black stones in a white fire, the flame— washed out.
Chelene Knight was born in Vancouver and is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU in multiple genres. In addition to being a workshop facilitator for teens, she is also a regular literary event organizer and host. She has been published in various Canadian and American literary magazines. Chelene is currently the Managing Editor at Room magazine. Braided Skin, her first book (Mother Tongue Publishing, March 2015), has given birth to numerous writing projects including her second book, Dear Current Occupant (forthcoming with BookThug, 2018). She was also one of the judges for the 2017 Vancouver Writer’s Festival Contest Chelene is now working on a novel set in the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver in the 1930s-50's known as Hogan's Alley.