Something Like Healing

by Stephanie Sinclair

Photo by Mallory Davis

The distance happens

on the first day of spring

when the scorpions start stinging.

I can hear your voice in my own;

this is the way it always begins.

I watch videos of my ancestors

singing above the streets

know that there is something ancient

in their mourning,

how they can chew it into something joyful.

Know that it is dying.

I mold myself into someone else

and deny it

run my shins into splits,

call it healing.

So much movement happens inside the body,

I don’t know how to sit still

when it happens.

She tells me

she knows her calm in the way her fingers relax

settle in place

palms looking to the sky.

I unclench my fists when she says it

hope she does not notice,


in the mirror and

ask how I got so tired so quickly.

This reminds me of what I have always known;

some things are inherited

the learning and unlearning

passes on like a relay race, and

oh, I worry so much I think it will kill me

before anything else.

I hear my mother’s voice when I say this out loud,

know that the things I am made of are difficult

to break.

This lesson is the hardest to learn

or at least the most recent,

so I turn panic into something

I can roll over in my tongue,

call it reconciliation.

Every month she wires money

to his grave,

keeps the candle burning

across the ocean

for no one to see.

What will we look like after this?

Will we ever sing again?

But who am I to complain;

the world is burning but

it has brought me back to my brother.

I know this is not the ending

though it feels that way,


this might be something subtler.

Something like healing.

Something like growth.

Stephanie Sinclair is a Toronto-born writer and filmmaker based in Montreal. She graduated from Ryerson University's school of Image Arts and has gone on to work in documentary and narrative cinema that have been screened internationally. Stephanie strives to produce diverse stories through a feminist lens as well as those that surround mental health.