Stanza Is the Ital­ian Word for Room

Geist - - Findings - JEN­NIFER ZILM

From Wait­ing Room. Pub­lished by Book­thug in 2016. Zilm’s writ­ing has been pub­lished in PRISM In­ter­na­tional, Prairie Fire, Val­lum and many others. She lives in Vancouver.

On benedick’s re­tire­ment, or how I learned to stop wor­ry­ing and love the catholic church

It is so holy to be old.

(Virus meas in­grave­cente atate non iam apte esse.) Grandma in her white car­pet stanza re­fuses to in­stall track light­ing (it’s tacky) to high­light the glit­ter in her dy­ing eyes.

Opa shared his fi­nal stanza with two strangers, crip­pled fin­gers scrawl­ing fugues on scrap pa­per, un­able to un­fold his fin­gers over the keys.

Oma in her condo mar­vels at the Sky­train, pop­eye pizza and hoards di­etary sup­ple­ments in her kitchen drawer.

Un­cle Mor­ris in the Okana­gan sun stanza still smiled when his sis­ter-in-law whis­pered chess into his large-lobed ear while Aunt Bar­bara re­fuses to visit,

walk­ing with one glass eye in the empty lots in Lumby where she said his spirit lived.

Then Un­cle George just dy­ing in his di­a­pers, los­ing his dreams of a Whites-only golf course

as a swift-fin­gered Filip­ina sponged his slack limbs.

Fi­nally you, benedick, your shoul­ders bent for­ward in heavy red,

a sup­pli­cant pos­ture, just an­other bro­ken holy fa­ther.

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