Well Preserved

When you were born

I canned thirty-six jars of plum tomatoes.

They followed me for seven years

until I felt debt free and tipped the last ten down the toilet.



When your father died

I stopped eating tomatoes

fearing revenge for my shameless flushing,

even though we burned him clear

and cleanly,

his box glued shut and polished weekly

with pine oil and old time elbow grease.


I’m done with canning

and widowing and worrying

— postponing rot;


It’s not my job to see us through to spring.

Pamela Medland is a graduate of SFU (BA) and the University of Toronto (MA, MLS). She resides in Calgary and is the Director of the Airdrie Public Library. Pamela has poems forthcoming in the winter issue of Grain Magazine and the winter supplement of The Hart House Review.