Three Poems

Cindy Clarke

Love Is...
Photo Credit: Coal Miki

You Bring Me Coffee

Even though you don’t drink it
and don’t much like the smell of it
you know I need it
to warm me and wake me
so you make a pot
before I’m even awake
bring a cup full and steaming
to the room where I am already at work
in the blind morning

and when I return, you are here
sitting in the big red recliner
watching a show about factories
lost in the whir of spinning wheels
cogs, courses, rollered causeways
you notice me enter
and turn it off.

At night, you lie beside me
your head turned away
because you know
warm breath on my face
keeps me awake.

Your leg touches mine
in the dark.



Grief grabs you,
drives you out into rain
when damp and grey
makes you want to cling
to warm flannel sheets
curl up with two dogs at your feet
remind yourself to breathe,
just breathe.

Grief tugs at your elbow
bursts out of its mask
into rippled pain, tears at you
shifts under your feet
even as you turn to face it.

Grief doesn’t sleep or do the dishes
or pretend reruns are all you ever wanted.
Grief screams at the thunder
calls down the lightning
dares God to care
or just sits, staring

and when you are spent with grief’s persistence,
exhausted by rain and wind,
Grief tucks you in again,
cracks the window
for a breath of wet air,
calls the dogs up beside you,
settles into the armchair
and waits.



Words drift and shift
fall windless between—
neither of us
brave enough
to set in place
what’s left unspoken.

For months you’ve stayed
a mute piece of a larger puzzle—
blocks with interlocking pieces
intact in their individuality
too isolated to initiate,
scattered across the floor
too incoherent to fit.

Abandoned now
we lie barely awake.
Light traces clues
across the carpet, whispers
into our silence.


Cindy Clarke lives and works in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She has had poetry published in several journals including Freefall, Ottawa Arts Review, and The Antigonish Review. Cindy recently completed an apprenticeship in the Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild Mentorship program. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Email: cindy.clarke[at]

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