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Poetry: Proxy

Irving Layton Award For Creative Writing: Poetry
October 9, 2019
By Alia Bhimji

Concordia’s Department of English confers prizes for excellence in the studies of English literature and creative writing. 

The Irving Layton Awards for Creative Writing, worth $500 each, are presented to undergraduate students for works of poetry and fiction. To qualify for the poetry award, students must submit one or several poems. 


by Alia Bhimji


I used to be a babysitter.

I made nipples out of mineral things, I spoke in tongues too wide for me

I spent the gold and I spent the silver.


I made tap water turn to TV dinners.

I worked for lead from bunk beds, I bathed them in Epsom sweat and seaweed

I used to be a babysitter.


I used to bring them army stickers.

I made civvies out of buckeye roots, in high altitudes with coca leaves

I spent the gold and the camouflage silver.


I went and shopped for coffee filters.

I would drink like mothers ought to drink, I snuffed the grounds through rolled receipts

I used to be a peoplesitter.


I’d tuck in their gloves when we had our winters.

I’d make them shovel snow for daddy’s praises, he was paying my salary

I spent the gold and the family silver.


I used to be a counterfeiter

I used to be a quick relief

I used to be a babysitter

I took the gold and I took the silver.


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