Soil Stories

that fall an arrow chip
shifts up from under
history’s cover
through soil
full of air
and sense enough
toned reddish brown and pulsing
a piece of chert the size of my fingernail
smartly placed atop
a fresh-dug sandy mound
one of many speckled over the fields
I reach across join the memory
and belong

~ Gayle Sacuta

“I live in Devon with my family, but regularly visit the farm where I grew up. I take my children there. The land is integral to my sense of identity. I explore the relationship with the land through writing. The bond grows even though I don’t live there.

My poems were inspired after finding a tiny chip from an arrowhead in a hayfield on the farm. That action connected me to the pre-settlement history of that particular piece of land in a new way. I’m still exploring the effects, so I’m reluctant to write too much at this point, although I feel like it will play an important part in my future story.”

Read more of Gayle Sacuta’s poetry:
Vast Prairie Puja
Where Are You From?

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.

One Response to “Soil Stories”

  1. G,
    So thrilled that my journey to connect with the history of the land intersected with your path. Your words echo my own tentative, curious stumblings toward the beckoning fragments hovering above and barely under the surface of the land. For me, the artifacts reveal the possibility of something much bigger and deeper than I am capable of expressing with words. But you – bravo! I look forward to reading more of your work.

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