origami crane - a poem by Whitney French

an origami crane

floating in the delta river.

where is it going?

how did it get there?

will the steamboat

burst its delicate wings,

will it take flight at the sight of


will the thin papyrus

melt in mouth-water?

or will it plunge past

the skeleton of misfortunate

fishermen; the shoes of crooks on

the wrong end

of a gun

past tiny tadpoles


until it beak brushes

the dusty floor, all

mud and

myth and


resilience resides

in your crease, crane-friend.

mystery lies in a glimpse

and that’s all we have

before we round the bend,

bouncing in this boat,

planning our escape

in case we too spot


Whitney French is storyteller and a multi­disciplinary artist. She is a certified arts educator who has executed over 100 workshops in schools, community centres, prisons, group-homes and First Nations’ reserves. Her debut collection 3 Cities was self­-published in April 2012. Other writings have been published in Descant Magazine and anthologized in The Great Black North: Contemporary African-Canadian Poetry. 

Whitney French is also the founder and co-­editor and of the nation­wide publication From the Root Zine. Recently she launched the successful workshop series titled “Writing While Black,” an initiative to develop a community of black writers. She has transformed her findings from these workshops into a travelling lecture series which has visited Montreal, New York and Pittsburgh at local and international conferences.

Her upcoming sci-fi verse­-novel entitled O chronicles the journey of a young astronaut’s failed mission to find a new Earth.