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Prestonians are a gritty people.

A people born in dilapidated bedrooms

to carpeted mothers

who used to be in style.


We spend the rest of our lives tearing

those mothers up,

trying to appreciate what’s underneath.

An empty storefront of a population,


surrounded by what was,

too poor or too stubborn

to fully renovate.

We are always under construction.

So used to all the swirling dirt,

we see the world through squinted eyes

and prefer it that way.

We listen


to the constant beep of diggers,

sip beer on broken foundations at 11.30am.

We watch our neighbour with the toddler do the same

but from behind a baby gate.


We cheers without looking on purpose.

Bad luck for seven years.

Mama said: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,

and if it is broke, it belongs here.

Nicole Leona Smith is a Writer and Theatre Creator based in Cambridge, Ontario. Her work as a Playwright been supported by the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), the Shaw Festival, and Canadian Stage. Girls From Away is Nicole’s most recent play-in-progress –a co-creation with Newfoundland’s Berni Stapleton, in development through Newfoundland’s Arts and Culture Centres and set to premiere in 2021. Nicole’s essays and short fiction can most recently be found in The New Quarterly, Textile Magazine, and Ember Chasm Review. She is currently working on her first novel, with support from TNQ & the OAC.


deathcap is Coven Editions' online literary mag featuring a curated collection of poetry, fiction and community pieces.  Review our Submissions Guidelines for more information if you are interested in contributing to deathcap.

© 2020 Coven Editions

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