For September 30: A. Garnett Weiss cento in memoriam the child victims of residential schools

I did not know what to do


Let us stand here and admit we have no road,

though what we say can cover truth

beneath the bitter ground this year—

the past itself disgraced by the ferocity of the new

edges curling with blasphemy and blame—

oppression which preceded history.

Vigilant in anguish and unattended grief,

my own heart and I catch my breath in pain,

now ululate in deep despair,

in deep apology,

lonely for something, nameless as they had been

like shades of broken stars.

               Cento gloss

                Title: Olena Kalytiak Davis, “On the Certainty of Bryan”

                Line 1: William Empson, “Homage to The British Museum”

                Line 2: Fred Cogswell, “Black and White”

                Line 3: Susan Hahn, “January Ovaries”

                Line 4: Campbell McGrath, “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool/The Founding of Brasilia (1950)”

                 Line 5: Molly Peacock, “Blasphemy & Blame”

                 Line 6: Richard Greene, “Independence”

                 Line 7: Gloria Burgess, “Blessing the Lepers”

                 Line 8: Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, “The Race”

                 Line 9: John Whitworth, “The Room under the Eaves”

                 Line 10: E. J. Pratt, “Come Away, Death”

                 Line 11: Claudia Emerson, “Cyst”

                 Line 12: Elliot Fried, “Daily I Fall in Love with Waitresses”

                (Lines drawn unaltered from Bricolage, A Gathering of Centos by A. Garnett  Weiss)

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