Susan Andrews Grace


When I was at home and merry and frisky
My dad kept a pig and my mother sold whiskey

if only it were that simple.

Mothers who sell whiskey
Are not like the ones who sell eggs.
And I was merry and frisky
Because of the whiskey.

And my Dad was also merry and frisky
And if the truth be known, my mother
Thought more of the pig than she did of my dad.

The pig didn’t drink.

When I was at home merry and frisky
My dad kept a pig and my mother sold whiskey.


Say it’s on the Irish Sea ° say it’s grey
weather and the gulls cry in gaelic clips
and there’s angel business, a soft
metal shawl of rain pulled snug
around your shoulder say harps
and lamberg drums begin a war,
their fury and missives all around you ✜ long
cords with knots whipping your back and wrapping around
your neck, the gulls witness
your shocking betrayal n your faith.
say the mountains glove their response
to you, with snow and fog, enclosing
your love with an avalanche.

  • Susan Andrews Grace from Ferry Woman’s History of the World, Coteau Books 1998

About Susan Andrews GraceDorothy Livesay 1983 29803


I got to know Susan Andrews (Grace) when I was Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and she was a Board member along with President Regine Haensel. They were both just beginning to publish. Susan’s first collection Water is the First World was published by Coteau in 1991, the year I returned to Manitoba.

About Ferry Woman

Her strong debut collection, edited by Anne Szumigalski, was followed by the stunning and ambitious Ferry Woman’s History of the World, edited by Connie Gault, and also published by Coteau in 1998, possibly their most ambitious poetry publication ever. This neglected long poem deserves to re-enter the world of Canadian poetry.