Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Read to me, Garrison

The Writer's Almanac is a daily email feed that comes to my email inbox. It's a lovely way to learn about authors of days past, new writers of today and even read or listen to Garrison read (as only Garrison can)a poem to you every day.

Listening to Garrison read the poem Durham Wheat reminds me of sitting in my favorite college English class, and having the privilege of my professor sharing writings that touched her heart and expanded my literary vision.

Take a moment, and click on the link to hear Garrison read to you too. Let the words wash over you and give you a vision for where and who you are today.
Durum wheat

by Lisa Martin-Demoor

Memory at its finest lacks corroboration
—no photographs, no diaries—
nothing to pin the past on the present with, to make it stick.
Just because you've got this idea
of red fields stretching along the tertiary roads
of Saskatchewan, like blazing, contained fires —
just because somewhere in your memory
there's a rust-coloured pulse
taking its place among canola yellow
and flax fields the huddled blue of morning azures—
just because you want to
doesn't mean you can
build a home for that old, peculiar ghost.

Someone tells you you've imagined it,
that gash across the ripe belly of summer,
and for a year, maybe two, you believe them.
Maybe you did invent it, maybe as you leaned,
to escape the heat, out the Pontiac's backseat window
you just remembered it that way
because you preferred the better version.

Someone tells you this.
But what can they know of faith?
To ask you to leave behind this insignificance.
This innocence that can't be proved: what the child saw
of the fields as she passed by, expecting nothing.

You have to go there while there's still time.
Back to the red flag of that field, blazing in the wind.
While you're still young enough to remember
a flame planted along a road. While you're still
seeing more than there is to see.

"Durum wheat" by Lisa Martin-Demoor, from One Crow Sorrow. © Brindle & Glass, 2008. Reprinted with permission

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