you never did think you belonged there
all that swell of water
warm by july
precarious in your small boat
you never looked down

out to the middle anyway
as far as you could get from granite
where you could feel the column lifting
all the way from the earth’s mantle

even with the ice a yard thick
cleared by the wind you could see shadows move
things alive, swimming
while the guards on shore stood watch

though those might have been trees.

you wouldn’t turn your back regardless
not with the aurora dancing
and the dark so thick you can touch it
from the corners of your eyes you can catch them
at fifty below you believe the legends
they say trees can change

you’d go but for the aurora
find your way if you could

in this light
you can’t see the stars

~ Frances Marina Vettergreen

Frances Marina Vettergreen is a poet and visual artist who lives and works in Calgary. She is a charter member of the Wordweavers writer’s collective and maintains a studio in her home in the inner city. Her paintings and drawing have been shown in group and solo exhibitions in Alberta and Ontario. She and her partner have recently welcomed their first son, who happily shares his toys with their two intelligent and graceful cats.

One Response to “precambria”

  1. This poem reconnects me with past experiences in Shield Country – takes me back into the grip of incredible age, vastness and mystery. Thanks Frances!

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