The Village of Sliding Time

Original Text: 
David Zieroth, The Village of Sliding Time (Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour, 2006): 48-50.
1one skeletal husband
2stood by the corn field
3as long as one summer
4while a wife burned her fat
5away, never moving from her bed
6afraid of the doctor
7speaking fast
8her own tongue thickening
9her sons woollen
10and silent by the door
11coming to take her hand
12all their eyes filling
13except one raged
14against his father who never
15bought the dresses
16his mother once wanted
17but no more
18past the worry
19the heart softening
20against that man
21because she knew
22he would follow her
23one day in the potato patch
24passing down into the black
25worked and reworked soil
26to taste the mineral that he was
27sharp, iron, foreign
28tiny crystal stones on his teeth
29little white micas he had
30combined with shit from the animals
31and built rows of
32raspberry canes, fences
33buildings so tall
34they needed rods even higher
35to pull lightning
36down around the walls
37and into the blackened ground
38much like the kind
39his sons picked him up from
40and then laid him back into
41besides his wife
42and where his sons took
43families to trim and plant
44disturb the fat snakes
45sliding into spaces
46at the edge of the grave
47nearest their mother
48where the headstone
49most needed repair
50and where they were beginning
51not to believe the Biblical
52phrases and consolations
53chipped in granite.Àæ
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © David Zieroth. Written permission is required to republish the poem.