Decked and Dancing $15 includes postage in Canada

Decked and Dancing coverby Christine Smart (2006) (paperback)

The sixty-four poems in this first collection from Christine Smart are intimate and sensual, often profound yet always accessible. Some written in sensuous prose, others in a variety of image-rich verse forms, they speak of desire, love and longing, life and death, the beauty and evanescence of a natural world closely observed. One group of poems is an unsentimental, vividly recalled evocation of the poet’s early life on an Ottawa Valley farm. Another faces the dark side, with poems of illness, loss and grief, while a third rejoices in the pleasures of physical desire, love and motherhood.

Christine Smart received the Acorn-Plantos award for Decked and Dancing. The award is given for a volume of poetry accessible to the general reader in its language and imagery and it names her “People’s Poet 2007.”





A green pear cupped
in a milk-white bowl,
porcelain thin
as the girl who eats it.

Glass pears frosted silver,
pendulous in a skylight
where the seven sisters

Curves flow
like a woman’s hips,
round and firm
in the hand.

The pear tree, such grace
reaching for the sky.

Pock marks,
blemished skin,
perfect thoughts

Yellow-skinned and dripping
with jealousy. A coy smile
concealed among pear leaves.

Geese are flying south.
Pears must be picked.

Who knows what hides inside
the skin of a ripened
pear? Dare to contain
such pleasure.

Shriveled and dry
as an old woman’s
breasts. In her eyes
a sweet light.

Rows of jars in the cellar,
cool white ghosts.
Pears, halved and waiting.


Ode to a Clothespin


My daughter hands me the pins one by one.
Small wedges of plain wood,
identical twins, notched and grooved.
Sprung together;
a tough coil of wire, the umbilicus.

I pinch open mouth after mouth,
clip each sock and pillow slip
separately. I am generous.
The days of scrimping pins, doubling
diapers with towels, behind me.

The sheets buffet in the wind, sun-bleached white.
The pins keep order as they travel down the line.

My daughter plays with the leftover pins,
the red and yellow plastic ones
in the bottom of the ice cream bucket.
She clips one to the next, builds
a snaking train across the porch,
the last red one, a caboose
she will ride tonight
as she slips between
sun‑filled sheets
and buries her face in fresh air.


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