Poem – Bodies Exhibit (By Fern G. Z. Carr)

Bodies Exhibit – By Fern G. Z. Carr


Black walls,

track lighting,

spectators milling about




surrounded by

vascular systems

preserved in fluid,


diseased organs,

foetuses in jars.


Hollowed out corpses

in life-like poses

play soccer, hold hands,

boast their musculature –

a post-mortem

artistic rendition

of red meat.


In a display case,

a brain and spinal cord –

nerves meticulously laid out,

limp like strands

of soggy spaghetti;

nerves that once

fired signals,

were alive


not housed in the



of unclaimed,

unidentified indigents,

their anonymous deaths

fodder for our anatomic curiosity –


a disquieting reminder

that we aren’t much more than water

and a few dollars’ worth of chemicals,

that we too aren’t much more than

red meat and spaghetti.

FERN G. Z. CARR is a director of Project Literacy, lawyer, teacher and past president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She is a member of and former Poet-in-Residence for the League of Canadian Poets. Carr composes and translates poetry in five languages while currently learning Mandarin Chinese. A 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee, she has been published extensively world-wide from Finland to the Seychelles. In addition to multiple prizes and awards, honours include being cited as a contributor to the Prakalpana Literary Movement in India; her poetry having been taught at West Virginia University and set to music by a Juno-nominated musician; an online feature in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper; and her poem, “I Am”, chosen by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate as Poem of the Month for Canada. Carr is thrilled to have one of her poems presently orbiting the planet Mars aboard NASA’S MAVEN spacecraft.