In The Unlit Path Behind the House, the poems of Margo Wheaton surround the reader like a forest filled with the incessant quiet of trees going about their business. Held in that space, Wheaton’s words strip away the flimsy coverings of everyday life to reveal the heartaches common to all.
In the woods again,
you’re trying to imagine the weight of snow
on the backs of willow branches
that cannot refuse to bear it
and bow, aching to know how to carry
your own suffering so well.
Though the pages of The Unlit Path are strewn with suffering, they provide occasions to look further and deeper, to catch glimpses of what is also there: “moonlight painting/one side of your body,” “the amber ring/of a guttering candle,” and “clouds thinning to a handful of ribbons.”
Wheaton coaxes the reader with quiet grace to a clearing in the sorrowful forest from which we can see the house, the lights and the way home.
The Unlit Path Behind the House
by Margo Wheaton
$16.95, paperback, 106 pp.
McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016