Jennifer LoveGrove

Self-portrait as syringa vulgaris at the bottom of the stairs

I’m cousin to olives
guarded by two chrome boys
one with a frog’s head the other
wheezing, looking east
and a smug drummer
once told me that
I too had the face
of a frog, posted RIBBIT
RIBBIT on all my selfies
I was forty his father
mocked my work
then hit on me.

I cannot turn myself
into a tree RIBBIT
RIBBIT primrose has
no meaning hop
through the mouth
of an old jar as
eight widows join hands
in a suicide pact
their hollowed out bones
the first panpipe ablow
by another rapist
redeployed as a god.

purple ones are the ghosts
of old houses, empty bowls
an unused ironing board,
blooming sweet and thick
at the side of the road.


Jennifer LoveGrove is the author of, most recently, the poetry collection Beautiful Children with Pet Foxes (Book*hug, 2017). Her novel Watch How We Walk was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and she also wrote the poetry collections I Should Never Have Fired the Sentinel and The Dagger Between Her Teeth. She is currently at work on another novel and a poetry manuscript called The Tinder Sonnets. She works at the University of Toronto, and divides her time between downtown Toronto and rural Ontario, Canada.

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