Catherine Graham | LAST SHADOW

Flying only happens in dreams.
No one sees the moon-chord

direct the dead through the underground
or bones grip roots.

We lengthen as herons mid-air.
Our past melts yellow for the day’s heat cradle.

What holds us back? We count another line
of tin soldiers while buried dolls

do an underground dance.
What once filled sky—never to return—

in a book no reader opens. And yes,
we deleted your voice—regret or let

go—night whistles when the past approaches.
We pollinate sounds through the bee-glade silence

and leave fresh messages to disappear.
Every ‘us’ must go through it alone. The notion

of guide—futile. We land where we begin—
a hub with no centre to disrobe our last shadow.


Poet, novelist, U of T creative writing instructor, TIFA Book Club leader, author interviewer and Hummingbird podcaster, Catherine Graham’s collection Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, Toronto Book Award and won the CAA’s Fred Kerner Book Award. Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected Poems appears spring 2023. @catgrahampoet