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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


Her tenacious curiosity

finds an electrical socket

blackens her delicate fingertips.


At seven, her teacher calls to say —

she’s stolen Fruit Roll-Ups

from a classmate’s backpack.


My time-out sanctions create

a cackling crescendo:

I hate you, I want a new mom —

from behind her bedroom door.


Each passing year —

I gather new transgressions

fumble in the darkness

of motherhood


grapple with aversion

to adolescent tattoos & piercings

F-bombs flung

at my it’s for your own good!


When she sneaks out to a forbidden party

I take her door from its hinges —

its return a Christmas present,

the only item on her wish list.


At sixteen the phone rings

an hour past curfew —

she’s rolled her ’79 Mustang in the ditch.


I arrive to headlights

beaming through the night sky

upside down engine still running

her first car never even makes it

home from the lot —


I spare scolding overlook the heap

of crumpled metal feel the heat of her

life flashing before my teary eyes.


Brenda Sciberras is a Winnipeg writer who has been published in several Canadian literary journals as well in the anthology Across Sections: New Manitoba Writing (Manitoba Writer’s Guild, 2007). Her work is also forthcoming in the anthology I Found It at the Movies, which will be published by Guernica Editions in fall 2014. Her first poetry collection, Magpie Days, will be launched by Turnstone Press also in the fall.