In her fourth book of poetry, Sally Ito traverses the complex tributaries of a heart mapped by the ineffable pull of family and faith


For when the hour was baroque and there was
a fearful studied symmetry in all mystical things,
and words in their place might move a heart
as players on a stage might recite their part.
Through this eye of the needle, slip your thread
of bare conviction, wettening it, not once, but twice
to pierce that hole, for stitching together the whole of you
depends on it, on this sewing of a line in time.
At unease in the world, you assemble the random array
Stones in a circle on a plain, or pitch the voice
Into tones of praise, wonder, and then dismay
At its falling apart, at its glorious unbecoming
No answers but for the questions, ants on a stick
Marching to the precipice, your longing are seeds
In search of light, that luminous centre in which
The self will die, and oblivion and bliss at last unite.

Born in Taber, Alberta, Sally Ito is the author of three previous books of poetry, Frogs in the Rain Barrel, Season of Mercy, and Alert to Glory, the memoir The Emperor's Orphans, and translator of Are You an Echo?, a collection of poetry by Misuzu Kaneko. Ito is an instructor of creative writing in Winnipeg, where she lives with her husband and two children.