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Image by Tayla Maurici


The sun-baked sand spits
me out. It doesn’t like
the Canadian taste
that lingers on my skin—
gone for a decade,
I’m a stranger
to the sea that birthed me.

The waves hiss—my father
seated beneath their crystal crowns.
Go home, they lap at the
shore, threatening me.
I thought I was home.

I wanted to sing
along to the songs of the sea,
to the anthem my mother
breathed into me
at my first

cries. At sunrise
the voices break through
the blue glass of the Pacific,
singing for the three-starred flag
of white, blue and red.

I sing along
to the sharp syllables
I thought I knew,
at their edges
my tongue bleeds maple.

The salted waves could not
wash off the sticky embarrassment
that glazes my lips.
Go home, they said.

The North Doesn’t Want Me

The lady in a red
and white tee behind the
bleached counter of
the Pharmacy turned me away
when I handed her the Witch
Doctor’s scribble.
This is no place for you,
she said—loud like the
stamps of denial from Ottawa
for people who aren’t as lucky as I.
As lucky as I? Am I lucky?
My mother is sick.
Too pale. Too cold. Common
for people like us. Loneliness,
my dad said. He’ll catch it too.
I told my friends at school
and they laughed.
They were born of the Snow.
I watched my skin change.
I watched it grey. The sun
here can’t help me.
It doesn’t recognize me.
It doesn’t embrace me
the way it does back home,
seas away.

I walk on the icy carpet
covering the city, stomping
and stomping, trying to
kill the Snow with every step
before it kills me.
I walk to find the Tall Man,
a half-giant, born of Tree-Women.
I look for him
in the Shadows, he was
my grandfather’s friend.
I try to find him behind skeleton trees
and in the night-blackened alleys—I search.
I want to ask him to carry us
home to the warm sands
just a breath away from
my grandfather’s grave.

Anne Claros is a Filipino-Canadian poet who hopes that her poems will resonate with the hums of people’s hearts. She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Winnipeg where she focused her studies on English Creative Writing, Philosophy and Art History. She currently works in the publishing industry during the day and snuggles up with her pen and paper at night.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    This is a beautiful set of poems.


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