click link to read poem
by Jim Johnstone
It’s the undisturbed that I suffer–
inked blades of grass, spades
interred to their necks in clay. Two
shores away, you cling to a farm
that won’t yield, fix your hope
in a home that doesn’t want you.
Pre-fabricated crops. Handprints
healed into the soil’s tract. Perhaps
this is why you’re motionless–
pitchfork clutched to the ditch
of your chest like a comic valentine.
She loves you. She deters the sun
with a scourge of flesh. Before
words, beechwood was used
to bless, quicken our rogue taxonomy–
your name reduced to a mass
of outcast slivers. Now, the missed
are missing again–cut incomplete
without the purr of our neighbour’s
apiary, a blight of crows. In the
winged, hate is ancillary. They
endure our stillness–wait to alight
on sculpted cheeks, thrust
their mouths toward our eyes.
|Winner of the Readers’ Choice Award [read other winning poems]
Published in Arc 63: Winter 2010.