“REDress”: A poem by Jónína Kirton, from An Honest Woman

For you, in solidarity, during this National Poetry Month, a poem from Jónína Kirton’s new collection.



for Jaime Black

declared a day of mourning
for the missing
I hang REDress on my balcony
go outside to look for others
nothing    all balconies clear of red
so I walk the streets
hoping to find others
few know that I am one
of the “lucky ones”
raped    never murdered
only parts of me are missing
now sixty
I worry for the lost
for the “lucky ones”
aware that porn producer once said
every day another girl turns eighteen
so many bus stops    truck stops with one-way tickets
grief cuts bone
the daily dismemberment of our hearts
as our girls are manipulated
reported missing
and their loved ones left
to drag rivers in Winnipeg
while others walk highways of tears
where it has been said
you can feel
the spirits of the missing
and today in this city    on this day of mourning
their redress arms empty
they wave to the cars that pass them by
on roadsides    on balconies
all reminders of what we are missing

Kirton’s new collection of poetry, An Honest Woman, is now available.