Autumn 2015 / Short Story and Poetry Contest
Somnolent Table

Runner-up and readers’ favourite in the 2015 U of T Magazine Poetry Contest


The earthquake has shivered
all the furniture out of place

except for one small console table
that has stubbornly clung

to the half-wall of the staircase,
its four legs refusing to move.

Or perhaps it’s merely asleep,
the way we all were that night,

unprepared for the tremor,
for the indifferent shrug of tectonic plates,

the cracking of the window panes,
the midnight howling

of Mrs. Mancini’s schnauzer next door,
its tight, fierce body straining to bite.

Our one sleepy table, with its fake
hurricane lamp and dusty snapshots

has become a new shrine,
the wood altar for small sacrifices—

my husband’s wedding ring
my daughter’s cracked cell phone.

No tabloid miracles here,
just small, removable pieces, finally still.

Sandra Kasturi (BA 2000 Woodsworth) is runner-up in the poetry contest for “Somnolent Table.” In online voting, readers also selected Kasturi’s poem as their favourite. Her two poetry collections are: The Animal Bridegroom and Come Late to the Love of Birds. When not producing ChiZine books, she works on her own writing: another poetry collection, Snake Handling for Beginners, and her first novel, Medusa Gorgon, Lady Detective.


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