Winner, 2019 Lina Chartrand Award
when you look at me do you see my blood quantum?
the quantities of who i am poured down
from generation to generation
do you see the lines that pull at me?
from the four directions
the history of Canada
written inside of me
or do you see the floating amoeba
the creatures that hunt my blood
their teeth razor sharp
devouring all that is unclean
do you see the mystery?
the imaginative world that exists inside,
bursts of colour
found only on the other side of universe
composite images seen through faulty telescopes
"Blood Quantum," a painting by Francine Cunningham, made in conjunction with her poem of the same title.
Note that only the poem was published in our Emergence Issue.
Published online April 09 2020.
Francine Cunningham is an award-winning Indigenous writer, artist and educator. Her debut book of poems, On/Me (Caitlin Press), is nominated for the 2020 BC and Yukon Book Prizes. She is a recent winner of The Indigenous Voices Award in the 2019 Unpublished Prose Category and of The Hnatyshyn Foundation’s REVEAL Indigenous Art Award. Her fiction has appeared in Grain Magazine as the 2018 Short Prose Award winner, on The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Prose shortlist, Joyland Magazine, The Puritan Magazine and more. You can find out more about her at www.francinecunningham.ca