Rocks Grew in the Fields

rocks grew in the fields in the spring:

this was not a wonder; ice moving in earth

clenching and releasing them, pushed them

into the light over generations;

nor was the new calf left for dead

under the trees a wonder;

but another thing revealed

by the passage of seasons,

the long sky with its windy clouds slung low

over the fields; the earth;

the dirt giving these things to the air;

a rough rock against the fingertips,

cold moist earth on its underside,

and coming upon that folded up thing,

dried, stinking where new growth was starting.

neither of these marvels: there was work to do.


picking rocks, we followed a flatbed wagon pulled

by a tractor; chugging along in the cold april air, the stones

rattling on the wood; until it was full and we drove

to the edge and tossed them onto

a pile that grew year by year, with the trees growing around

them; and year by year more rocks.

though the carcass of that calf disappeared before too long

in the way of living things; buds to leaf, stubble over

cold packed dirt into long hay, blue bells, daisies;

the calf gone and no wonder to it,

though a discolouration in the grass that grew from beneath,

fed either on its young sweet blood

or its rot, the enduring stain

of its ceasing to be.