Homeland Security

I notice the sky first
where does land end sky begin?
I’ve come from Singapore jungle city rain trees and shortened views
look up and all you see are branches look down and find hibiscus
bougainvillea lush greenery rust red soil
but I’ve come home home to Alberta
teen years in Cold Lake with that bigbig sky
undulating and popping with sounds of northern lights in winter
university years in Edmonton riverbanks ring roads riding the bus
birthing years in Calgary Rockies waiting just over there
yet it’s the sky I notice first bluewide cloudless in my line of sight
through all 360 degrees
when I look down I’m surprised at how green it all is remember sere
this Calgary is beautiful early April
no time yet for dryness which might come later
which does come later
I learn to xeriscape mulch garden beds with rocks or bark
keep in precious moisture
I plant native trees softgreen larch which don’t seem to mind clay soil
the lack of nutrients
and grasses prairie grasses and wildflowers stunning in their beauty
I walk in Fish Creek Park see deer coyotes signs of beavers
our wild rose pretty little plant ubiquitous along river pathways
tells me there’s beauty amidst clay and rock
a visit to Waterton Lakes National Park reveals more
spectacular rare flowers flashy foreground to mountain silhouettes
I realize this land is no poor cousin this land is Home

~ Joanne Underwood

Joanne Underwood currently lives in Alberta and enjoys going on day trips around the province. She’s a member of the wordweavers writing collective, practising her poetry and entering CBC contests. Her latest successes have been with Shakespearean sonnets—one only for bragging rights and the other for a dual-flush toilet! Hoping her writing career is not really in the toilet, she continues to write for various contests, enjoying the stimulus of the subject at hand.

One Response to “Homeland Security”

  1. I love the irony of the title. A poignant portrait of a life lived under prairie skies. I loved the last line.

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