This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

July-August 2016

Celebrating our Literary History, Week 2

In honour of our third annual Summer Reading Issue and our 50th Anniversary Year, we've dug into the archives to unearth some of our favourite fiction and poetry

This Magazine

Our July/August Third Annual Summer Reading Issue is on newsstands now! To celebrate our literary history in our 50th anniversary year, this summer we’re also re-publishing a bunch of archived poetry and fiction. This week, we present “Squirrel,” a poem from our former Literary Editor Chris Chambers, published in our 40th Anniversary Issue. Chris has been featured more than once in This Magazine over our 50 years, and it was hard to pick our favourite from the archives! We hope you enjoy “Squirrel” as much as we did and stay tuned for more great writing from the archives!

By Ariefrahman (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons


A crow descends on
Queen’s Park Circle at rush hour.
He tries to pluck
the stubborn stringy liver from a squirrel.
Previously the squirrel
had direly underestimated the pep of a Honda Civic.
Prior to that there had been enthusiastic dining
all around the lunch fry truck and garbage.
The crow pierces the liver with his beak and tugs,
then starts to play
like someone’s strung up the mop at the jugband jamboree,
swinging, deft, on one leg.
The squirrel is no Prometheus to the crow’s idolatry.
It’s not like that.

Chris Chambers is the author of Lake Where No One Swims and Wild Mouse (with Derek McCormack), which was nominated for the Toronto Book Award. His poems have appeared in Taddle CreekJacket, This MagazineThe Literary Review of Canada and were awarded the K. M. Hunter Artist Award. His most recent book of poems Thrillows & Despairos  was published by Wolsak and Wynn in 2015.

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