Mothers by Michael Johnson
2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist
Micheal Johnson has made the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Mothers.
Michael Johnson was born and raised in Bella Coola, B.C. He is the author of How to Be Eaten by a Lion, and his work has appeared widely in literary journals including The Fiddlehead, Shenandoah, Mid-American Review, The Malahat Review, The Southern Review and in the Best American Poetry and Best Canadian Poetry anthologies. He lives with his family in Penticton, B.C., and works at a local winery.
Entry in five-ish words
The language of flowers
The poem's source of inspiration
"I was struck by the significance of flowers, their type, colour, how we give them to the dead, to the sick, to loved ones. I was reading about floriography, and an early draft of this piece resulted."
Every babeled tongue spoke
this petaled shibboleth,
found in djinn forests
where sun spilled like sand
in the cracks and dazzled on things
in a way only a broken heart can speak.