— after Spring Hurlbut’s Le Jardin du sommeil, 1998

the forest
where they could be

at least
on uneven ground
they will have a chance to tip out

may be               adopted by falling leaves
overgrown grass

the river might take them
or the sun

in wire and iron cots and cribs
where the metal mother keeps
unwanted tots

rust ribs painted white

and with her needle brain
sews their lips

Louise Carson has published two books of poetry: Dog Poems (Aeolus House, 2020) and A Clearing (Signature Editions, 2015). Her poems have twice been selected for Best Canadian Poetry, in 2013 and 2021. She also writes mysteries and historical fiction. She lives near Montreal.