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From the archives

The Trust Spiral

Restoring faith in the media

Dear Prudence

A life of exuberance and eccentricity

Who’s Afraid of Alice Munro?

A long-awaited biography gives the facts, but not the mystery, behind this writer’s genius


the “wee tea”

a child’s sampler

urge the fractious toddler to

“just have a taste”

nursery food on a plate

rectangle triangle circle

cubed, it’s a geometry lesson


dowager eats a cucumber sandwich sixth

half-circle and square in the gullet

mini-scone with chicken and apple

dissect, bite, wait

bite bite bite

each barely enough to taste

she argues the garnish into an entree

a piece of apple!

a sprig of parsley!

lopsided heart/cross section/

a strawberry!


left: the lemon loaf

butter pecan slice

shortbread cookie

pinwheel of egg salad

loops round and round

to a pinprick mayonnaise centre

an object lesson


wishes her stomach could be

a doggy bag or box

take it home and store it

distribute the largesse

but to eat it?



“at home,” in her suite

she eats on saucers

conjures a dollop

into a serving

leaf-thin bites

doll-house implements and cutlery


no need for stool softeners

the smallest of consumables

a fraction of a fraction


whetstone in use

knives kept sharp to aid habit

a cut to appall

the remains so small


the very tip

off a point of cake

the remainder

still looks isosceles


if not a lesson in geometry

fractions or

declining decimals, then what?


Word Problem:

how little fat below

how little skin

sinew on cartilage

to bind bone to bone

Crystal Hurdle’s most recent book, Teacher’s Pets, a novel in verse for young adults, was published by Tightrope Books in 2014. She teaches English and creative writing at Capilano University in North Vancouver, British Columbia, and is a former fiction editor of The Capilano Review.