This piece was originally published in the April-June 2017 issue of Mythic Delirium. Thank you again to Mike Allen and Anita Allen for giving it a home in their gorgeous magazine.
I wrote this poem three days before my beloved grandmother, Faye Beth Baer O’Byrne, lost her battle with cancer. She was a fierce, intelligent woman who loved books, knew the importance of kindling friendships, and thought that animals were often much better souls than people. If she knew that this poem had won a major award, she would have, in this order: 1) Started screaming so loud that all her dogs would have come running from other rooms to bark and howl wildly with her, 2) opened a bottle of Chardonnay and plied everyone in the room with a glass, even if they didn’t like Chardonnay, and 3) made a reservation for fancy dinner, where she would know literally everyone in the restaurant and proceed to tell them all about her granddaughter who studies fairies and how proud she is of her. She was the best.
This poem was one of five that I published last year that was nominated for the Rhysling Awards. Two of them, “The Lovers and the Labyrinth” (Faerie Magazine) and “How to Grieve,” were solo authored by me. And I was completely delighted that three collaborative pieces were also nominated: “An Announcement” (Uncanny Magazine) and “Waking” (Liminality), which I wrote with Brittany Warman, and “Starskin, Sealskin” (Uncanny Magazine), which I wrote with Shveta Thakrar.