Fragments, Alice Torrance

by Alice Torrance

I used to argue my points.
I responded to questions
with eager, innocent eyes,
and carefree, oblivious smiles.

and happily green—

I looked forward to the present.
Back then I knew my future more than I do now—
so sure of what my life’s trajectory would be.

My father was a teacher
at the University
and at home.

We were students from day one—my siblings and I.
He listened to us with patient, loving ears,
And was enthralled by our answers to his questions about

and fate
and people.

The pieces of his mind began to
crumble away
before any of us were ready—
we could never be ready.

He listened until the end.
It might have been out of habit;
maybe his brain was so packed with knowledge that there was no more space to absorb new information—akin to the way a sponge can only grasp


I like to hope that somewhere deep behind his soft brown eyes, a part of him remembered. Maybe my father was all there, trapped inside his own body, teaching from afar?
Listening without the capacity to respond? Now that


and things are different,
I try to answer the questions—
I try to invent new interrogations that he might come up with today.
I am lost with a list of unclear answers


ALICE TORRANCE is a student who transferred to York University this January. Although she is in the faculty of Health (majoring in Psychology), she spends much of her free time making music, crafting stories, doodling, and exploring art.