From the Archive: Laurie D. Graham (CAROUSEL 27)

Staff/ October 10, 2020/ Poem


The Window Blind Factory

is the endurance of atrophy.

On break outside Derwent High School,
now a blind factory cultivating jobs,

in the bookless classrooms of industry,
gymnasium lifebreath enterprise, entrepreneurial smoke-breaks

or not — the women in front of the school have the same devout braids,
the same homemade blouses under company windbreakers, the same empty hands.

Maybe they’re made to wear uniforms. Blind into blind-slot, factory vinyl,
promise of supper and a walk to work, blind into blind-slot

all week in a town of two hundred, blinds tumbling
out the cutter. The unemployed in town —

what they think of these women,
their flashing, vacant hands, their paycheques.

Laurie D. Graham grew up in Treaty 6 territory (Sherwood Park, AB), and she currently lives in Nogojiwanong, in the treaty and traditional territory of the Mississauga Anishinaabeg (Peterborough, ON), where she is a writer, an editor, and the publisher of Brick magazine. Her first book, Rove (Hagios Press, 2013), was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for best first book of poetry in Canada. Her second book, Settler Education (McClelland & Stewart, 2016), was nominated for Ontario’s Trillium Award for Poetry. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize, won the Thomas Morton Poetry Prize, and appeared in the Best Canadian Poetry anthology. More:

The Window Blind Factory
appeared in CAROUSEL 27 (2011) — buy it here

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