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.