Coming to Terms. Sonnet. Poem. Catherine Chandler


I set aside my white smocked cotton blouse,

 my pants with the elastic belly panel.

The only music in the empty house

strains from a distant country western channel.

My breasts are weeping. I’ve been given leave –

a week in which to heal and convalesce.

I peel away the ceiling stars; unweave

the year I’d entered on your christening dress.

 I rearrange my premises – perverse

assumptions! – gather unripe figs; throw out

 the bloodied bedclothes; scour the universe

 in search of you. And God. And go about

 my business as my crooked smile displays

 the artful look of ordinary days.



Catherine Chandler

Catherine Chandler (1950 ― ), an American-born Canadian poet, teacher and translator and graduate of McGill University, is winner of the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award 2010, and nominee for six Pushcart Prizes, the Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2013 Poets’ Prize. She is the author of five books of poetry, the latest, Glad and Sorry Seasons, forthcoming from Biblioasis Press. Her poems, translations, essays, reviews, interviews and podcasts have been widely published in print and online books, journals and anthologies, including The Alabama Literary Review, Orbis, Quadrant, Iambs and Trochees, Measure, Able Muse, Raintown Review, Sonnetto Poesia and The Centrifugal Eye. Catherine writes sonnets because it is her way of trying, as she writes in her sonnet “Sonnet Love”, “to modulate unmanageable grief”. Her website, The Wonderful Boat, welcomes visitors at

“Coming to Terms” by Catherine Chandler, is the winner of the 2010 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. It now appears in The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of sonnets of the early third millennium = Le Phénix renaissant de ses cendres : Anthologie de sonnets au début du troisième millénaire.

Some 300 sonnets and ghazals in English, French, Spanish,German and Farsi―publish at Friesen Press. Canada 2014. ISBN: Hard-cover: 978-1-4602-1700-9 Paperback: 978-1-4602-1701-6 eBook: 978-1-4602-1702-3. Available at Amazon & Barnes & Noble

 We urge readers of these sonnets in Poetry Life & Times  from The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes = Le Phénix renaissant deses cendes to visit the site

Readers may also contact Richard Vallance, Editor-in-Chief, at: for further information.