Finalist for the 2013 Walrus Poetry Prize
Oil derricks on the outskirts of Estevan gesticulate
like dawn-risen monks bowing at unseen shrines.
Around here, everybody’s working overtime.
The new Ford dealership keeps our oil patch
kids, barely off their bicycles, in custom F-550s,
the higher the chassis, the closer to whatever it is
Linkin Park fans like. Jet Skis. Suzukis. Christ.
We’ve returned to a time zone of twelve hour
shifts, a boomtown kept afloat by hard-earned
cash blown on mortgages or coke. After dark,
fleets of roughnecks stir like stagehands between
acts on the Bakken play’s black expanse, methane
flames lighting sections of sunless sky clear into
North Dakota. We all want to believe we’re here
and here to stay. The difference between a have
and a have-not province is night and day.