Shelterbelt by Brenda Sciberras

Amidst morning birdsong
to capture all the light of day

In spring, when sun thawed the ground
we plant thousands of seedlings

Ordered when snow sat on soil
from Indian Head, Saskatchewan

We map our Manitoba shelterbelt
imagine the sun reflecting its array of colour

Maple & Colorado Blue Spruce,
Green Ash, Elm & Silverleaf Willow

My father measures five rows
& digs the spaced holes

My brother places
& packs the plants

Trailer hooked to tractor
forty-five-gallon drums of water

My pail & large ladle in hand
I wait to soak each tiny tree

It would take a few years of summer
heat & rain barrel watering

For them to stand tall against
the cold wind & drifts of winter


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


Brenda Sciberras is a Winnipeg poet, who’s first collection Magpie Days (Turnstone Press) won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book at the Manitoba Book Awards 2015 and was also nominated for the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. Her poetry has appeared in several Canadian literary journals and anthologies. Starland, her most recent book of poetry, was launched with Turnstone Press in 2018. Brenda currently sits on the National Council for the League of Canadian Poets, as the Manitoba representative.

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