Three Poems by Elise Partridge

New Work

Domestic Interior: Child Watching Mother

Chapped hands sift greasy suds.
She can’t make rent. Quietly,
she’s crying

again. Vessels tip in the rack.
Each night I watch her eyes
to make sure they keep drying.


Alternate Histories  

If they had straightened, not veered,
if they’d caught the night ferry.
If the Consul’s clerk had replied,
if west-running tracks had cleared.

If she’d taken the hallway stairs.
If he hadn’t missed the warning
while he kept whistling at tea.
If they’d come home late from the fair.



He scowls in his bat-sleeve gown
at girls crossing Front Court
(only dons can walk on the grass).
His bedder in her frayed apron
hauls buckets the long way around.

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Elise Partridge

The much-admired Elise Partridge's poems have appeared in many journals including The Walrus, The New Yorker, Poetry, The New Republic, and PN Review. Her Fielder's Choice was shortlisted for the Lampert Memorial Award; her second book, Chameleon Hours, won the Canadian Authors Association Poetry Award, and her third book, The Exiles' Gallery, will appear in April 2015. Partridge died in winter 2015.