Editor’s Choice














Stéphanie Filion


I Was Born in a Glass Jar

Translation: Rachel McCrum

Originally published in French in: Nous les vivants, Lézard amoureux, Montréal,


French Canadian writer, poet, and artist Stéphanie Filion has published several poetry collections, including Cœur mémoire in Spring 2023. For fifteen years, her work has focused on femininity, memory, and vulnerability.

Stéphanie is active in the community, offering workshops and mentorship. She strives to make poetry more accessible, particularly through cultural mediation. She resides in Montreal, Québec, Canada.



I was born in a glass jar

between the spitting humus

the V of the geese

and the hides of the hunters

I was born of my own will

they call me Maidenhair

sometimes I ask myself if I’m mistaken.




I haven’t known blood

the bottle with crumpled greens

I am from here, yes, but since when

subject of rust and the too-clear sky

a way of saying that in the forest

neither the October foxes

nor the July woodpeckers

will sniff my venus hair

my vessel oozes secret water

a way of saying that in the forest

no one sees me

no one knows me.




My gemstone skin is frail

like a larch’s song

they say I’m tired, they say I’m thin

they say I’m of another century

cradled in the ravine of time

and if I lacked air in the storm

I am no longer afraid of confinement.




I reveal myself as bitter

by the network of my roots

which carry holy Easter water

the sugar of the maple grove rails

the ferrous source

the meandering of the moss

and of the beasts that were murdered

I was born in a glass jar

deposited here when the ancestors

were still alive.




I capture the seasons, the light

transparent words

dreams when they get tangled

in the newborn antlers of deer

everything that crosses my cup

rakes up the harpoon lace

I do not know the spears

of the jack-in-the-pulpit

his crimson, they say, brews poison

the shiver on the shadow on the buzzard

is a memory I cherish more than reason.




Pearl of the forest

that shines in the boreal setting

I don’t deserve a name

like you I carried my spores

to the enclosure of parties and violins

they call me Venus-Hair

but I know well that a sap rattle

that a sand mushroom

doesn’t bear another name.




I saw the day by myself

from the heart of this fertile vice

orphan without laughter or prayer

sheltered from love and from the jackal

I will never hear

death which murmurs from the shadows

dew on my proud fronds

nor the scraping of hours

when night carries them in the earth

I was born in a glass jar.

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