A frost crusted poplar by David Yerex Williamson

Following the erosion
of cracked imagery on crooked page
I snowshoed to the mouth
of the river past
the crisp site the fox patrols
past the comfort of language past
the abandoned trading post
no words bouncing sounds
through sites of empty names
still air through tamarack
blank drifts between jackpine
my tongue a rock
starving my own mouth
worn
I paused against a frost crusted poplar
shifted weight
tightened my stance
my ungloved fingers thawed
thin smooth grooves in her old skin
what memory communes in her pulp
when she last felt lonely human
hands
pressing flesh
young snows reclaimed
the lines left which lead
me here
figures grafting meaning to silence
a breeze startled snow off one branch
her roots nudging me
home
make old tracks towards a new page

 

Copyright © David Yerex Williamson. Originally published in Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees (League of Canadian Poets, 2018).

 

David Yerex Williamson is a poet and college instructor living in northern Manitoba. He is an associate member of the League of Canadian Poets, the Manitoba Writers Guild and The Boreal Writers Group. When not teaching, drawing or reading rejection emails, David shovels snow, cuts wood and chases his dogs along the Nelson River. He is currently editing his second chapbook.

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