Sick kid. Snow day.
Six-feet of white flakes at the end of
our driveway. At minus 30
with the wind chill,
my little one and I can only stand
and stare out the frosted panes.
I sigh:  boring day ahead.
Cooold” she mumbles,
then sneezes and stumbles off,
drunken sailor style.

At nap time I check my email.
Good news: my interview with the
Peat-Bog Mummy researcher
is on for next week. Another hour
writing about spiders gives me shivers.
I set it aside, go make green tea,
wake my groggy girl.

Let’s make a lovely dress for Cinderelley, Cinderelley
Bippitty Boppitty Bippitty Boppitty Bippitty Boppitty

I might be sick myself if I have to hear that song
one more time today. Tick tick tick. 4 p.m.
Just three more hours, then Daddy’s home.
Perchance to sleep? Perchance to
soak in a bath with bubbles.

Before logging off for the day
I Google “Women in Iraq,”
Click on the daily Iraq Violence Report.
57 civilians killed in Iraq today alone,
most of them women and children.

My daughter’s small voice
singing in my memory, I read on:
Many Iraqi women have never worn
that smothering, submissive scarf,
but now, dead bodies of women and girls
are being found in rivers, on waste grounds;
veils tied tightly around their heads:
a clear message from extremists.

My cheeks kiss a soft pillow;
My own message clear.
Amen for sick days, for snow days,
for bubbles and Bippitty Bop.

Amen for boring.

Photo: Afgan woman, public domain image

Written by Heather Grace Stewart

Heather Grace Stewart is the author of the romantic comedy novels Remarkably Great (2015) Strangely, Incredibly Good (2014), the screenplay The Friends I've Never Met (2012), four poetry collections, 'Three Spaces' 'Carry On Dancing' (Winter Goose Publishing, March 2012) 'Leap,' (2010) and 'Where the Butterflies Go, (2008) 'The Groovy Granny' (poems for kids 4-104) and two non-fiction political books for youth (Jackfruit Press). A member of the Writers Union of Canada, she lives with her family in Montreal, Canada.


  1. Just wow. If you were happy to find me, I am doubly endebted to you. I love your combination of poetry and visuals. Your photos are beautiful and your writing is moving. Thank you again.


  2. PS Yes the photo simply spells out “FEAR” and “INTIMIDATION” to me, and I was most afraid taking it. I don’t know where I got the guts to take it, but I simply knew I had to take it (middle of the desert and nowhere to run, too. Sometimes my naivete is a plus).

    I have been honoured to have this photo grace the cover of Tom Phillip’s book. It was the perfect home for it.


  3. This is a good strong poem, and I particularly like the way the world outside is frozen both in reality and in terms of the poet’s expectations – contrasted with the warmth and everyday-ness of the home environment.

    The photo is strong too – where have I seen it before ;-)


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