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7 lbs. 6 oz.

Lenore Rowntree

Some things about my sister Beth

that I can’t think about for too long

without getting sad and confused:

1. The time we went to the Bracebridge

Dairy for cherry pie and vanilla ice

cream and she took too long in the

bathroom, so I kept knocking on the

door, and when she emerged she said,

“My life is hard, you know.”

2. The time I blew snot out my nose

and rubbed it in her hair in front of

the boys from down the way who

were already afraid of her.

3. The time my aunt said at the family

reunion that she ruined everything.

4. The time some kids threw snowballs

at us on the way home from school,

and the ones they threw at her had

stones in them.

5. The time a man gave her an engage-

ment ring that was too big for her

finger so it came off during the night

in her bed, and the staff at the group

home found and returned it to the

man, who’d spent his disability

allowance on it, and she thought he

had broken up with her because she

lost the ring, and nobody ever told

her anything different.

6. The time I looked in her purse and

found nothing but scraps of paper so

covered in writing there was hardly

any white left on the pages.

7. The time my mother told me she had

a normal birth weight, 7lbs. 6 oz.,

but an abnormal delivery because a

bully nurse shoved her back in and

held her until the doctor arrived.

8. The first time she became an

outpatient at the Clarke Institute of

Psychiatry and wrote this list to

remember the layout:

11th floor

Dr. Jeffries’ Office

9th floor

8th floor

7th floor

6th floor

5th floor

4th floor

3rd floor

Day Care Centre

Ground Floor


9. The time I found her poem Lies in

her wastebasket:







Cheerful, Pleasant

Lovely, Sense of Humour

Educated, Famous, Smiling

Lies, Full of Lies, A Wheat Sheaf Full of Lies.

7 lbs. 6 oz. was previously published in Geist Magazine, Exile Literary Quarterly, and The Best of the Best of Canadian Poetry.


Lenore Rowntree

Lenore Rowntree

Lenore Rowntree is a Vancouver painter and writer who lives in Vancouver and Gibsons. Her collection of stories See You Later Maybe Never (Now or Never Publishing) was released in October 2022. She is an editor and contributor to Hidden Lives: True Stories from People Who Live with Mental Illness (Touchwood Editions).

Beth Rowntree

Beth Rowntree

Beth Rowntree lives in Vancouver, and if she had her way, she would never stop writing.

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