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Poem: in Fireworks, fall 1992

Saskatchewan

A breath of prairie air.

In spring

the breeze blows moist and cool,

            across pastures of thawing whiteness,

ice cracks,

water runs in secret streams under thin crusts of snow;

and the crocus

so soft,

so brave,

stands on the warming hillside;

the meadowlark calls,

across the boundless fields.

A breath of prairie air.

in summer

the warm wind serves up sage and clover,

            sweet grass and hay,

the rich smell of dust

released from the earth

after a downpour,

the click and buzz of insects,

and hawks hunched on fence posts,

waiting.

A breath of prairie air.

In fall

gusts of winds rustle and billow grain,

combines roll over golden fields;

smoke shrouds banks by railroad tracks

            where weeds and stubble burn;

V’s of geese call,

across the autumn sky,

‘We’re going. We’re nearly gone.”

A breath of prairie air.

In winter,

crunching, creaking snow calls us,

squealing tires beg for traction;

city streets, steamy with exhaust and breathing,

            are full of puffing people;

nights are so clear, so cold, that only the stars are alive,

and you can almost touch them.

—Amber Harvey