Too Negative

Suzannah Showler

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I was a kid other kids’ 

parents gossiped about.


They told their children

what I was: too negative.


I get it. Fair to fear

contagion of bad attitudes,


to think naming a thing

can be an inoculation.


Of course my friends

filled me in. Of course


I took my diagnosis

lying down on mostly


frozen sand. Loose

grains made their way


to my scalp. Stayed there

for a few thousand years.

“Too Negative” from THE THING IS by Suzannah Showler. Copyright © 2017 Suzannah Showler. Reprinted by permission of McClelland & Stewart, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. All rights reserved. 

Any third party use of this poem, outside of this publication, is prohibited. Interested parties must apply to Penguin Random House Canada Limited for permission.