Ravel’s String Quartet in f
second movement
inches me down and across
to the North Side,
already late for a deadline.
Winter slept in this year,
just woke up to its shifty business
of snow-blowing snow,
car exhaust spewing fast and
furious as the wind gusts.
Flashing brake lights
the only flick-flick
of colour in this blustery
end of winter morning.
Grey sky hung over the river valley
with its stick trees: bare poplars, sober spruce
prissy pines, and its bottle-necked wet road.
At the bottom of the hill
staid, stoic traffic lights
do their old fashioned work.
Green waves a slushy go,
amber flits one more car through,
red holds a gloved hand up.
And the river—
that brought settlement here
in the first place—
meanders on
its cold course.
Here on its banks
we still huddle, try to keep warm
eight months of the year.
Here where we have sprawled.
Hard to call this home
to have the heart for it
on this March morning.

~ Pierrette Requier

Pierrette Requier was raised in the village of Donnelly. Although she has spent most of her adult life in Alberta’s capital city, she has always remained aware of having been fundamentally influenced and formed by having lived in the large spaces of the North where her grandparents on both sides came to settle as pioneers in the Peavine Creek area. She has regularly needed to return ‘home’ to all that flat space and the boreal forest for renewal and restoration, yet thinks that there is something that remains untamed and defies naming about thisland, thus writing the land always feels tentative, almost impossible, a larger than life task. Requier has been involved in the Edmonton Stroll of Poets Society for fifteen years, as well as the Tangent Lines spoken word group. She also facilitates Wind Eye Poetry Seminars.

Leave a Reply