Agnes and True2021-11-16T11:04:54-05:00

A Canadian Literary Journal

Agnes and True

Agnes and True: a Canadian online literary journal dedicated to providing a place for the work of Canadian writers, both established and emerging.

A Canadian Literary Journal

Thank you for considering Agnes and True as a destination for your work.

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For Solo Voice

by Tina Silver

Even though Gretchen had little potential as a singer, Renata needed the money. Seventy-five dollars bought the same groceries whether it came from a promising talent or a mom taking a forty-five-minute reprieve from carpools and laundry. Renata privately vowed to train Gretchen not to hurt her vocal chords and respect the physiological miracle of singing. For her part, Gretchen took lessons for fun, to check an item off her bucket list. Devoid of self-consciousness, she sometimes danced around goofily and laughed a lot. She began to intrigue Renata who had insignificance and shame squatting in her mind. When teaching, Renata’s singing was excellent; she demonstrated vocal exercises or a few bars from a student’s song with ease. Her secret remained safe, and Gretchen was none the wiser.

When Gretchen suggested they meet outside of lessons for coffee, Renata readily […]

September 5th, 2023|

Women of Windsor

August 5th, 2023|

by Preston Lang

The book was called Men of Moncton. Rita grabbed it on the way out of Owen’s apartment to have something to read on the train. She’d thought it was fiction, but it was a collection of short biographies—each profiling another illustrious son of New Brunswick’s most essential city.

The woman sitting next to her, glanced at the cover. “Are you from Moncton?”

“No, I’m from Windsor,” Rita said before realizing that she should’ve lied. But quickly […]

Donor Fatigue

July 7th, 2023|

by Cadence Mandybura

“Just the blood today, ma’am?”

Marybeth blinked, still distracted by how she’d hung up on her daughter to make this appointment in time. “No, I’ve signed up for the whole regimen, as usual,” she said. “Compassion, patience, tolerance—the works.”

“Oh,” said the nurse—Prashant, according to his nametag—confusion fluttering across his face. “I wasn’t given the extended forms. Wait here, please . . .” He stepped out, leaving Marybeth in the consulting room. She fanned herself with an aftercare brochure […]

The Universal Treat

June 6th, 2023|

by Jenny Vester

Even before they chain up that dog in their spectacularly untended back yard, you despise the couple next door. You refer to them as Bitch and Asshole, same as they call each other, and give them the surname Knob so you can lump them together—as in, The Knobs have really done it this time.

The dog arrives on a Friday night while you’re at work. You drive home from another shift of mixing drinks and pouring […]

Bad Luck and Big Ants

May 1st, 2023|

by Sheila Burpee Duncan

In the darkness, Ella swats the side of her head before lifting it from the pillow. “Fucking ants,” she says and fumbles for the switch. Bedside lamplight blinds her, but soon she can see that the dog on the floor beside her is awake—alert and ready to do whatever is needed. Maybe that’s where the ant landed.

His back to her, her husband mutters, “Wha…”

There’s the ant. On the duvet pulled up over her husband’s […]


March 22nd, 2023|

by Beth Goobie

Riley locked her bike to a NO PARKING sign and surveyed the storefront forty feet in from the sidewalk, behind a small parking lot. Four months ago, she had started volunteering at The Good Intentions Emporium, a local thrift store, in the hopes of earning a job reference. At twenty-seven, she was The Emporium’s youngest volunteer, and she had quickly learned that her good intentions were not to manifest in helpful suggestions, no matter how […]

That Woman I Know

February 15th, 2023|

by Imola Zsitva

I saw her every morning at eight fifteen on the corner of Avenue de L’Épée and Fairmount. First to emerge from the electric car were the black, high-heeled boots and blue skinny jeans, followed by the green wool coat. It didn’t look warm, but it wrapped around her figure in sheer elegance. Like a movie star who always looks immaculate, even when she pops out for groceries. Her hair was blonde (as you would expect) […]

Bed Blocker

January 13th, 2023|

by Nancy Johnson

The words fly down the hospital corridor like precision missiles homing in on Maggie, their fleeing target, piercing her on impact.

“Keep her away. She’s abusing me!”

Maggie presses palms against ears as she escapes her accuser, the screeching woman in the corner room.

Indifference is everywhere—in lab coats, with stethoscopes, or arms laden with flowers, moving with unflinching eyes, looking ahead or downcast, but never back in the direction of the desperate cries—the wails just white noise […]

The Broken Village

December 15th, 2022|

by Catherine Austen

“It’s your fan belt,” the mechanic says. He has dirty hands and clean hair, a lopsided smile and good teeth. He charmed the older sister, Odelia, when he leaned over the engine and raised his pale green eyes. Young and cute—so cute he doesn’t have to be tall or rich. Odelia squeezed among the tools and grime, clearing a place for her pleated skirt. Now she sits on the counter swinging her feet, watching his […]

The Radical

November 15th, 2022|

by Julie McClement

Looking at my sister’s Instagram makes me feel hollow inside, but I can never stop returning to it—the same way I ran my tongue over the spot from a missing tooth as a kid. I tell myself I should cut back, but it’s a harmless vice, no worse than my occasional late-night drink.

Esther worships Audre Lorde, provides commentary on Beyoncé that verges on the Talmudic. These “yas queen” posts are interspersed with self-portraits of joyful […]

Antler Handle Magnifying Glass Late 1800’s, Good Condition

October 13th, 2022|

by Emily Hunt

My memory has changed everything about you. It thinks you’re perfect. I buckle under the druggy weight of the lie, sometimes. Press awkwardly against the ground, happy and stupid beneath it. It thinks that when you first walked into my shop—collapsing your umbrella between us in slow revelation, careful amongst the worthless antiques—it was love at first sight and not, in fact, aversion. My memory forgets that. Forgets that I tried to resist, first. So […]

Nonna’s Mandolin

September 12th, 2022|

by Dawn Huddlestone

Cyril hands me a plastic package bound with duct tape. It’s heavier than I expect. This feels like a clandestine drug deal might. My giggle is stopped short by Cyril’s quizzical look.

“Sorry,” I say. “This is a first for me.”

“Me too.” He clears his throat. “I’m pretty sure it’s flour. With maybe some gravel and a few chunks of chicken bone for good measure. In the urn, I mean.”

I nod. Nonna would have made it […]

Any Time After Now

July 21st, 2022|

by Caroline Misner

When Anna was a teenager, she would look at her mother and cringe. To Anna, her mother was ancient. She had wrinkles beginning to bloom in the corners of her eyes; her hair was permanently dyed a chestnut brown to hide the grey strands that had started to sprout at her temples; her breasts drooped a little lower each year, and her waist thickened. Anna vowed that she would rather be dead than be like […]


June 16th, 2022|

by Betty Jane Hegerat

There were no vacant benches in the park, so I leaned against a tree. I watched the masked parents riding herd on their unmasked little bandits—no way were those kids safe-distancing on the playground equipment. I was glad Bridget hadn’t suggested a coffee shop where I’d have to take off my mask between sips of coffee. Bridget was not in my bubble.

Never in the past twenty years, had I expected this rendezvous would happen. […]

The Ideal Swing

May 18th, 2022|

by Rachelle Furney

I’ve always wanted a porch swing. The kind that you would sink deep into, and your feet wouldn’t reach the ground. They would dangle. You’d twirl your ankle, clap your flip flop to your foot, and critique the pedicure you got last Wednesday from Perfect Nails downtown. The swing would be white and hang from chains that rattled when you got off and rattled again when you sat down—this time with a cappuccino in hand. […]

Let’s Say I’m a Tree

April 19th, 2022|

by Angie Ellis

And here I sit on a chilly, pine needle morning—the trees cut black against the watery
tangerine sky. Poetic​ ​.

I’m mentally going over my speech. No, my proposal. A statement of deeply felt resolution.

“Don’t be mad, but . . . listen. How are you feeling about this?” (Gesture between us.) “Remember when we fought about which seedy bread to buy for sandwiches in Tofino? What a stupid life, right?” (I’ll laugh here because it’s stupid in […]

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