Skip to content



– Poem by Shannon Bruyneel –

This is the great unhappening.

If a tree falls in the woods
if no one is there to hear
if your only child dies

a mother unmothered.
You sold the van.

They are going to set your baby on fire.
You do not believe in graves
wear him instead around your neck
so when you find yourself
on a mountain, or by chance at the ocean
you’ll leave a part
until he is all in the world
and nowhere all at once

you wait for a phoenix
but nothing rises

Shannon Bruyneel
About the Author – Shannon Bruyneel

Shannon Bruyneel has loved to write for her entire life. She is a graduate of the Literary Arts Programme at Canterbury High School in Ottawa, and holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Saskatchewan. She has lived in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and now makes her home on Prince Edward Island. Her writing is informed by space and sense of place, as well as family and memory. Shannon and her husband have three children, an elderly dog, and eleven tropical fish.


Did you like this poem by Shannon Bruyneel? Then you might also like:

The Identified Patient
What I want the surgeon to know

Sanctuary, and other poems
The Body as Poem
Metaplasia and other poems
This is What Death Does
Where Courage Lives
Florence, By Any Other Name
The Psychiatric Patient Profiled in My Application
Breathing; Love These Lively Things
In the Blink of an Eye, Risk Taking, Afterfall

A Poem for Writers
The Worst Drunk Poem I’ve Ever Written
Writing Myself Alive: An Episodic Poem
Maybe a Mango, Recovery, and, Yearly Physical

Or, consider the following: 

To check out all the poetry available on Dreamers, like this one by Shannon Bruyneel, visit our poetry section.

Like reading print publications? Consider subscribing to the Dreamers Magazine!