Dawn Promislow
silver house


Vanishing House by John Dickson, an installation, approximately 2 ft by 2 ft in size, on the oxbow section of the Lower Don River, Toronto, 2014.

this is a silver house, i saw it. the water is also silver and silvered and silvery, as you can see, and so are the leaves. Well, the leaves are green actually but when they turn and twirl as they do in the air, in the airy, they become silvered and silvery. and the sun too is silvered and silvery. i can’t imagine how or why the sun is silver here, it’s not golden at all, but silver. and the thing is that this house is a floating house, just the way silver is a floating, quicksilver. although this house floats very slowly, almost imperceptibly, the reason being that this water, this silver stream, moves slowly, almost imperceptibly, not quickly, or mercurial, and it’s mostly still in this pool, stilled, and surrounded. and there are many surroundings here, surrounding the still pool, there’s a whole city actually, serene, although you can’t see the whole city, but you can hear some of it, if you’re still. and i like to think i can go in this house, in that door, or in that window, and it would be dark and protected in there, surrounded, as all houses are.


Dawn Promislow was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has lived in Toronto since 1987. Her writing has appeared in Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Numéro Cinq, StoryTime, SLiP (Stellenbosch Literary Project), and has been anthologized in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 5, 2010 and African Roar 2012. Her debut short story collection, Jewels and Other Stories (TSAR Publications, 2010), was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 2011 and was named as one of the 8 best fiction debuts of 2011 by The Globe and Mail (Canada). She is writing her second book, a novel.