Come Cold River

Karen Connelly

Come Cold River

Karen Connelly overs a complex and intimate look at her family and what troubles them in her poetry collection Come Cold River. It also expands its scope to look at Canada and the country's troubled history with dynamic, vivid prose.


The Truth

If I found the truth there

I found it in alleys, edges, tracks

where the city split open

and weeds slipped in, green knives.

The truth I befriended

did not walk out

with the honest people,

or open in the smiling faces

on the steps of the good houses.

Though the houses were good,

the truth should have chosen to live in them.

But it did not.

No, it was obstinate, rude,

the worst sort of junkie. Belligerent.

The truth once said, "I shall set you free."

But it was joking.

The truth kept itself to itself

in an apartment building blackened

by weather everyone denied.

That's always where the truth resides.

I walked past it as I always had,

I saw, I could not see it, I carried it in my hands

like a weapon I didn't know how to use.

The truth was there next to me like a lover

but as usual I was afraid

of commitment because

I was only thirteen.

Later, I was surprised

by the splintered door,

the cries, then darkness

growing like placenta

around me, the first and last

force of blood.

From Come Cold River by Karen Connelly ©2013. Published by Quattro Books.