Farmer's Daughter

Original Text: 
The Space a Name Makes (Toronto: Black Moss Press, 1986): 11. PS 8587 .U52 S6 Robarts Library
1I spent the longest time
2trying to find you,
3the vague woman in a house
4roaring with a man's need.
5I searched old photographs --
6in your anxious hands,
7that nub of womb-fresh life
8is me, your face still
9farm-fresh, warm as an egg.
10The smallest thirteenth child
11lost at the back of a family
12hating cows.
13I remember your mother's house,
14the root cellar yawning.
15When you ran home that time
16she spoke of made beds
17and sent you packing.
18Life was the threat
19you learned from brothers,
20hands as big as shovels.
21You looked for the strong man
22who came from the sky
23in a World War II movie
24to fold his body over you
25like a cape.
26It took me years to see
27the still-born thing
28you had buried.
29It surfaced once.
30On my marriage night
31you broke your code and cried:
32"Don't leave me."
33I hid those words for years
34knowing we too dug hands like shovels
35into your life.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Rosemary Sullivan or Black Moss Press permissions department.</b>