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Human Acts Wolsak & Wynn, Toronto 1991 ISBN 0-919897-24-X 77p
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CBC Literary Prize for Poetry 1991

"a book encapsulating the author's grace, sensitivity and subtlety.... Human Acts is a book that quietly draws the reader wholly into itself." Prairie Fire

"Her accuracy has as much to do with her capacity to inhabit her subjects as to observe them."
Journal of Canadian Poetry
Vol. 5 1990

Human Acts

Twelve men and boys
taken in a raid
driven to an olive grove away from the village
the orders were to break their arms and legs.
Soldiers who didn't want to do it
could go and sit in the jeep.
As for the last man,
They broke only his arms.
That was / so he could walk back
and tell what happened.

Was it nearly dawn when he got there?
These paths, the twisted road are known to him
like his own hands, like the faces of his children.
He cradles the split arm
with the one he can still move
high against his chest, it has become
outside himself, he could be carrying a lamb
or a child. He whispers.
There is enough light, anyway,
and over this ridge
the village in terrible silence.



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