Tango in the Kitchen

by Mary Ann Pocock (1957-2006)

just as there is pain

with loss

so we find it in the search

for the very celebrations

that come by chance

from our grieving

’til one is inextricably


to the other

and we cannot tell

where the dying


and the living ends

so the very things

which in their timely


have brought us certain joy

come bearing

the unbearable

and even if we knew

would we banish

all the love in between?

dip and turn.

eternity is just around the corner.

Longtime Ottawa member of Canada’s Mothers Are Women and art co-ordinator of Homebase, she had breast cancer and eventually succumbed to a brain tumour. She described the cancer experience as ‘thriving through treatment.’ Not knowing when to cry ‘enough’, Mary Ann agreed to illustrate the Fall 2003 cover of Homebase. When she was urged not to do too mush Mary Ann answered, “I’ll just do a still, it’ll be fine”. When the editor saw the drawing she was immediately struck by its power and how it was not just a still life but the bold statement, “Still Alive”. Tango in the Kitchen was in her self-published collection of poems entitled Over the Moon.


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