Collage The Handmaid's Tale by Samantha Derendal

Sydney McNeill

goddess season

rosy-cheeked and

cut throat, arranged

carefully under spring skies,

dehydrated foliage and

frantic limbs

our euphoria is

at the bottom of the bottle

in prairie winds less harsh

and flesh less purple

our cue to claw up through

the depths where

they all thought

we went to die


sky opens,


park a cube van

outside a travelodge

smack dab in the middle

of the fraser valley.

a fugitive in

a storm near

a mountain.

make a career out of

pleading no contest.

door opens when

you put a key in it.

it’s a freedom that

takes some adjusting.


Sydney McNeill is a 24-year-old poet from Edmonton, Canada. She lives in the small moments that slip through everyone's fingertips all the time. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in several print and online publications, including Vagabond City and the Black & Blue Anthology. Self-published collections can be found at She also maintains a glittery passion project known as Sea Foam Mag, a growing collection of inclusive art by people everywhere.