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New essay in Queen’s Quarterly

current issue

The Oak Tree

Fearless in your short, four-year-old legs, your footsteps clap against asphalt and your knees nearly buckle racing down the forty-degree lane. I too ran down this steep hill, freed from the school day and sterile walls, and later, I too climbed even higher, farther up the now vanished woods to the high school on the crest of the hill. That was the first high school to be built higher than any church in the hills, signalling a change in the town and in the future of our lives.

I brought you from urban Canada to the village of my childhood to experience a taste of something that is dying. Of course I have not told you this. It would sound dreadful and ominous…


PAULO DA COSTA was born in Angola and raised in Portugal. He is a writer, editor, and translator living on the West Coast of Canada. His poetry and fiction have been published in literary magazines around the world and have been translated to Italian, Mandarin, Spanish, Serbian, Slovenian, and Portuguese. His book of sudden fictions, The Midwife of Torment & Other Stories, is forthcoming in 2017 from Guernica Editions.

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