a boy, an early hint of the many gin-soaked years
that will hound you and paint you
an asphalt grey with burgundy strokes around the eyes,
a taste for barbecue and cancer and marshmallows,
but mostly, the memory
of a large granite rock worn smooth,
sat firmly in the sand in a shallow portion
of lake lipped with water cool, and slick,
and clear enough to sip.
Jen Batler is the third place winner in the 2016 running of the HHLLC poetry contest. She is an undergraduate student at U of T studying History and Russian Language and Literature. She plays tennis badly and has the world’s largest collection of old ketchup. Occasionally she does good deeds without telling anyone (this is the exception).