Soil

A field is / just the fist side / of a fact

Photo of Bertrand Bickersteth

Now let’s look at
a field
in fall:

half living,
half leaving,
half outward,
half injured

quartered
section
of parceled
land

legally sub-
divided
as playground

felled
to basic firmament.

Or

you just tell those
other
kids

no,

that
“black
is
beautiful”

warble
our parents
with worse-worn
worn-out
words.

But from here,
face to floor,
we see the molecular
sophistry of soil,

the or
of orthic
the no
of chernozem
the black
of dark brown

children

flat out,
face to ground.

Can we ‘semble
this out?

A field is
just the fist side
of a fact

caught out
of season

and

found out in
words

and

in-
jured

and

we swore we
would stop looking

at fields

because they remind
us so much
of absence
of beauty

it hurts.

Bertrand Bickersteth
Bertrand Bickersteth's first book of poems, The Response of Weeds (2020), won the Gerald Lampert Award. He lives in Calgary.

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