An excerpt from this interview was published in ARC Poetry Magazine's Summer 2021 issue.
Ancestor vs. Ancestor – Sadiqa de MeijerThe darkness then was darker than we know;it never left the corners of a room,rose velvetly from cellars, where it blinded the potatoes—like curd it formed a film on wooden spoons.Grains of darkness clustered between brothers.Dark moisture kept the cabbage leaves apart.All over the old country, there were nights: no hands, no ground.You’ve never really seen the stars.And what was in it? Specters, wraiths—they spooked the horse.Some things that people did.A continent was dark. It could be what we wanted.Animists, ivory, pith of strange fruits. We must have been,for all intents, asleep.When those nations flickered and were lit,there was no fault to speak of.And we didn’t speak of it.
Sadiqa de Meijer is the author of the poetry collections Leaving Howe Island and The Outer Wards, and the essay collection alfabet/alphabet. Her work has won the CBC Poetry Prize and Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest, and was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. alfabet/alphabet won the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction (long after this interview was completed, or I might have mentioned it!). She lives with her family in Kingston, Ontario.