Joanna Gilman Hyde

"Good Morning, World!"

Tag: Elizabeth Walden Hyde


I have been embraced

by a high white Baptist Church

and let go

like a helium balloon

by the ties

of my mother’s death



The Hawk Queen Bed 4:38pm

Today on 2 hrs sleep

from 2 mgs Ativan

I began the sculpted head

of My Beautiful Dark Haired Woman

Who appeared on My Right Shoulder

in Roseway Hospital

October 1993

She said a lullaby in My Ear —

the most melodious voice I had ever heard

and today I have swaddled a Styrofoam core

in thin slices of plasticine

hyperventilating as I went

hearing My Son’s suggestion

from yesterday’s walk on The Hawk Beach —

“Mom, why don’t You just

exhaust Your Self?”

every slice

from a red-handled knife My Brother gave Me

pushed Me on to panel the form —

My Goal was to cover it, and I did

after carving HTWH in the Styrofoam skull

resting on My Ceramic Bluenose Plate

My Keepsake from the childhood crossings

in that vessel from Bar Harbor, Maine

to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

when I was so happy

with My Little Family

of Mother, Brother and Me


Down On The Hawk Beach 4:15pm

I am sitting beside a rock

and Oh not just any rock —

it’s a rock the size and shape

of a giant brain tumour,

brown and cut apart at the edges —

it doesn’t scare Me anymore

I listen to the waves instead

at My Right —

the rock is to My Left and I will go

away from it

as quietly

as I came upon it


The Hawk West Desk Window 5:25pm

I learned the word “Sanctuary”

from My Mother

Who had it written

on a weathered shingle

nailed to a tree along

the trail We blazed

to The North East Bluff

of McNutt’s Island —

She wrote a passage below

that word, which,

if My Brother were alive

He would remember


The Hawk Kitchen Outpost 9:20am

This morning as I ate

My Banana

out by the bank

where I dumped My Dead

Christmas Tree —

I heard My Mother call

to Me —

“Good Morning, ” She said

Good Morning, Jogie –“


The Hawk Kitchen Outpost 11:26am

Today I picked up A Star

(Silver of course)

off My Thick Grey Bath Mat

It glinted at Me

as I sat on the toilet

and so I caught It

on My Left Index Finger

and scraped It off

with My Little Metal Star-scraper

into A Little White Box

of Indeportenz*

and named It


*word of mine from My Childhood used to describe small collections of special things and later business envelopes and their contents My Mother would give Me to play with — usually junk mail.


The Hawk Kitchen Outpost 8:13pm

I went to sleep

how many nights?

in My Summer Child’s Room

in Jordan Bay, Nova Scotia

the oldest child of a single mother

from the sixties —

in that little room at the head of the stairs

I saw The Sun against

My Far Wall

and  I tried to close the curtains

but The Light came in

anyway and I

went to sleep


The Hawk Living Room 4:30pm

A new arrangement of paintings

builds a triangle upon My Living Room Wall:

My Mother’s Portrait as a very young woman

painted by My Uncle

dresses the wall below My Balcony

hanging in the middle

above two impressionist paintings

of Africa — She took Me

as an infant to grow there

in Gabon and came home

with these two paintings

I framed in art school —

one showing a grass-roofed hut

palm trees with seated figure —

the other showing four bark canoes

and two figures readying them

in the foreground of open water

and open sky —

My First Year In Africa

She called The Worst Year

of Her Life — spent insomniac

underweight, pregnant

with My Fated Brother —

Africa inspired Her Novel


never published —

Her Portrait looks down

to those two African paintings

and I look up to all three


The Hawk Kitchen Outpost 7:55am

My Mother was My Guiding Star

I hang Her Portrait

above My Door

She led Me straight

to never lie

& held Me close

until She died