Ash: Poetry by Whitney Sweet


I was a kid and didn’t know you but went to your
funeral my cousin died of AIDS but didn’t know
what that meant just wore my good dress to the
cottage next door and looked at the fat red tomatoes
in the garden while the grown ups ate cheese and
talked in quiet voices and we all prayed but didn’t
know what for and we all lined up and scooped the
gray ashes from the wood box my mom said they
were you all powdery soft in my hand and we
sprinkled your gray body into the white sand near
the patio and I felt your little bones and wasn’t

—Whitney Sweet

Whitney Sweet is a poet, wife, student, and doggy guardian. She is the winner of the 2014 Judith Eve Gewurtz Memorial Poetry Award and a finalist in the Malahat Review’s 2015 Open Season Awards. Her poems are included in the forthcoming anthology being compiled by the Aspiring Canadian Poets. Currently, you can find her working on her body positivity poetry project at: