Collage, titled "Circle of Care," by Steffi Tad-y

9. 15. 2023

“After Confinement,”
“In the Ward,”
& “Circle of Care”

Steffi Tad-y

After Confinement


As I pass by a repair shop tending to all parts of a washing machine, electric fan & air conditioner, I play East Forest’s limitations on my phone. I burrow into the piano keys, their music gliding towards my ear. How to say I cannot think well. My brain sick in the ward for sixteen days. Searching for cadence & connection. My I not a machine nor music however much I bargain or command it.


In the realm of rupture & dream, I am purposeful. I move from one whirr to the next with ease. Efforts funneled to keep a home going. Switch from on to off as reliable as the grid powering the city. Into many nights, all the stories in me buck & I keep on breaking. How do I extend myself some love? When do I rest into the we?

In the Ward

We take turns


our stories

                              in a circle of care

We practice

               our dance moves

chicken wings + pizza

                             = not all is lost

We laugh

              & the castigating softens

roping into

                           a kinder time life

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Steffi Tad-y is a poet & writer based in the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, & Tsleil-Waututh Nations, also known as Vancouver, British Columbia. Her chapbook of poems Merienda, published by Rahila’s Ghost Press, was nominated for the 2021 bpNichol Chapbook Award. In 2022, she published her debut book of poetry, From the Shoreline, with Gordon Hill Press. 

Steffi is also the creator of “Circle of Care,” the collage above the poems printed here.