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The Web Poetry Corner

Melinda Cochrane


Montreal, QC, CA

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Melinda Cochrane

Irene cried her last goodbye.
Nan' house sold for fifteen thousand.
Land by the pond too.

She walks the hilltop to church
to ring the bell calling us in Jesus' name.
For she has seen the light.

Burgundy blazer. United church pin of honour
on her lapel.
Sisters gone away.
Brother moved to the mainland too.

The road to Dover's a little longer
without the stop at Nan's.
The choir starts to drone as the verse
and hymn are placed on the board.

Her kids are gone too.
The water is cold today.
"Hello," she says,
passing Aunt Suze on the street.

'Til next Sunday when the bells ring.



Melinda Cochrane

Ropes 'round me waist
carryin' water from the well.
Child under arm.
Dryin' fish on the flakes
for winter.
Me man'll be 'ome soon.
Around the tickle she'll come
twenty-two weeks on the Labrador.
Maid'ins cookin' a bit o' jigs' dinner
to put on a plate.
Watchin' the window.
The rain beatin' down. All 'da maids
Around she comes.
Up he walks browned with the sun.
Fisherman's tan.
Slept 'til noon.
Up he gets for a scoff.
Youngsters sittin' around cryin'
for joy.
Not long he'll go again.
Dryin' fish for the winter on the flakes
off the shore.
Around the tickle she'll come once more.

A Man


Melinda Cochrane

I met a man who worked hard.
He had a wife. A raven with
black hair.
Woke up each morning. Off
to work he'd go. Returning too tired
to talk. At eight he was often asleep.
Sometimes on his chair.
One fall day on a bus heading home,
he said "all I know is work."
They asked him once about house
and property .
Quietly he looked at his wife and
One a teacher, one deals
blackjack for the state.

Down went his head and a smile
came to his face as he filled
the refrigerator. Passed his
wife forty dollars to fix her hair,
his son some money to
fix his front door.

He works still at sixty-five.
Not many words.

A soldier of quiet grace.



Melinda Cochrane

Laid down to put me pants on.
Cyril's goin' to the dance tonight.

Marg and Flo gone off to town.
Both workin' at the hotel.

Missed me pill.
Nine months later belly hangin'
to me knees.

Dress hangin' up on the door.
Cyril's in the city.
No room for two more at 'ome

Welfare did a good job,
said they'd have her raised in a
good 'ome.

Me jeans fit good now.
Another dance at the hall.

The Artist


Melinda Cochrane

An artist dreamt a woman
threw his babies in a well.

The artist cried quietly,
" give them to me ".

He painted the woman's
picture on a canvas in his
room as he saw his babies
crawling over spicy hills.

They looked up at him
with eyes in need,
to see which one of them
he would save.

The artist called to the woman,
" come sit with me ".

He held his arms around
his chest pondering what was
best; a life he saw or
a life he knew.

His art whispered quietly
that all his visions were true.
She is he and he is you.

At night the artist pulled
his babies from the well.

The woman rocked the artist
slowly to sleep as night
faded into day.