Elegy for the Falling Grain Elevator, Boyle, Alberta

What first caught my eye: the colour
was off – grey, which once was green.
Next came the thud of the wrecking ball
slamming into its side. Elsewhere, hunks
of concrete hung from steel rods, bent
in a craze of angles, like misshapen

ornaments. A foreman circles in a white
pick-up, surveying the demolition,
like a predator, waiting for the bloodless
collapse. Corbusier hailed
them as the ultimate example of form
following function. O lighthouse of the prairie.

~ Ian LeTourneau

Ian LeTourneau’s poetry has appeared widely in journals and anthologies, and twice won CBC’s Alberta Anthology. A chapbook, Defining Range, was published by Gaspereau Press in 2006, and a full-length collection, Terminal Moraine, was brought out by Thistledown Press in 2008. A transplanted Maritimer, he lives and works in Athabasca. He also occasionally blogs at www.ianletourneau.ca.

“I’m not from Alberta originally; I’m a transplanted Maritimer—so I’m very interested in any metaphor that explores that feeling of limbo, of being between two cultures, of being between two concepts of home.”

Read more of Ian LeTourneau’s poetry:
Pump Jacks

Editor’s note: This poem is from Home and Away – a sequel to the bestselling Writing the Land (2007). Look for one poet to be featured each day as Alberta poets ponder the question “what is home?” and explore our complex relationship with working on, living with, exploiting and protecting our land and our home. For more information about the project, click here.

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