Great Canadian Literary Hunt 2011: “I was born without a mouth” by Joanne Osborne-Paulson

We’re posting the winners of the 2011 Great Canadian Literary Hunt all this week. Come back tomorrow and Friday for amazing new poetry, fiction, and graphic narrative, and follow or friend us to stay up to date on 2012’s contest!

I was born without a mouth and the doctor shouted, “It’s a girl!”

I was born without a mouth, so every morsel I ever ate was a metaphor.

I was born without a mouth but my ears were sharp enough to hear every denigration, Retard.

Since I was born without a mouth, it became obvious that I was incapable of profound thought.

I was born without a mouth, so the court appointed a lawyer to speak on my behalf, who took a fee and left me his phone number.

Given that I was born without a mouth, the court made a ruling concerning how my body could be used, and by whom.

I was born without a mouth, so my obstetrician declared an emergency and cut a hole in my belly to let out the screams.

I was born without a mouth so every word I ever wrote hurt my throat.

I was born without a mouth so there is no song, no story to tell.

This has been a minute of silence, observed in remembrance of the men

who suffered for my beauty and duplicity.

This has been a minute of silence.

Thank you for your patience.

There is nothing that can be said.

Put on your coat.

Please go home.

Joanne Osborne-Paulson holds a BA Special with Distinction (in English) from the University of Alberta. She is an associate member of the League of Canadian Poets. Joanne lives and writes in St. Albert, Alberta.