Going without Leaving by Jessica Van de Kemp


Back home, the roof collapses after a storm;
Our insurance collapses like a folding top hat.
Food in the kitchen, but we plan on leaving
before the sun blows away tears from furniture.
A roof is a tie down of our boat to a post.
I want to be the one who lets go of the rope.
I don’t want to be homeless/We don’t need
a house. The sky entices with perks.
You’ve got a famous painting of a shipwreck
to pull you in at morning. Canadian weather
down to the neighbours making pea soup.
We hate eating warm food; we’re cold people,
proof that sorry is a sense of humour.



Jessica Van de Kemp is an award-winning teacher, poet, and PhD Candidate at the University of Waterloo. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks Daughters in the Dead Land (Kelsay Books, 2017) and Spirit Light (The Steel Chisel, 2015). Connect with Jessica on Instagram @canadianpoet, Twitter @jess_vdk, and her website: canadianpoet.org.


Painting by Théodore Géricault.