EMILY SANFORD

*|| War Bride ||*

I can count on a single hand the loves I’ve known—
but your heart to me, above, silent and unshown

brings my heart back decades, hand-to-throat with you there
at war. Beneath the dog fight over Bedford Square,

I’d take your hand and, solemn, ask to meet your beaux,
know your loves, and the hope you were forced to forego

as sweethearts promised their hands, and made for Dover
to be lost one after handsome one. And over

in cool Canada, where only charm was handed
in spades, did you know by heart that you had landed

for good? Could you have foreseen your vaulting echo
down the generations? (There’s never time to know

all love.) I’m made of you and of your handiwork:
smocked dresses, heart, manner, wry wit, withering look.

Though before, how much more a war bride were you than I?
In me your blood, hands, heart, our acquired name survives.

 

Emily Sanford was born in Nova Scotia, and holds an MA in Literature andPerformance from the University of Guelph. She is the winner of the 2016 Eden Mills Writers Festival Literary Award for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the Janice Colbert Poetry Award. She lives in downtown Toronto.