Literature Moni Brar Poetry

Subject Matter

after Lisel Mueller

How I would paint your future:     A lush peach, full of juice and life,
                                                            on the cusp of falling,
                                                            the pit inside already sprouting.

and sheer joy:                                   Something straddling the banal
                                                            and extraordinary. A throng of weeds,
                                                            stretching towards the love of the sun.
                                                            Or a hand retracting,
                                                            recognizing the value of all life,
                                                            even when mistaken for nuisance.
                                                            Or a sunbeam hitting the flank of a horse.

death:                                                 My sister young and laughing
                                                            or brushing her hair.

love:                                                   With broad brushstrokes
                                                            that change colour when dry.

hope:                                                 A baby bird stepping off a branch.

the trap:                                            A timesheet with rows of tiny boxes
                                                           waiting to be filled with diligence.
                                                           So mundane and distracting
                                                           that we don’t notice the spread
                                                           of decay at our feet.

and most of all, memory:              A landscape piece, on an endless canvas.
                                                           A flat field of strawberries that ends
                                                           where it meets the horizon. A farm worker
                                                           in clothes stained red, halo of bees hovering
                                                           above her glistening head.
                                                           Her dark eyes bright,
                                                           skin bristling with hope.


Moni Brar was born in rural India and raised in northern BC on the land of the Tse’Khene peoples. She received the 2022 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award and The Fiddlehead’s 2022 Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize. Her writing appears in Best Canadian Poetry and Literary Review of Canada.