The Dirt On Me

We drive by terra cotta squares, bold

within the patchwork quilt

covering the earth.

Life-blood dirt. Uteruses-in-waiting.

At a silent beach I wade into brick-red sea water

dig my feet into this menstrual soil,

marvel at my cinnamon toes.

Sensory scramble:  Spring in PEI.


I look out across the Atlantic

in search of my own terra cotta land,

my singular peninsula:

brick ancestral houses flanked by cypress guards

baked clay pots disgorging red geraniums,

rolling hills burnt beneath a sedulous sun.

I remember fecund dirt.

Not so intense, perhaps, as this island red

azure water not so abrupt,

air fat with salt and laughter;

beach toes, my childhood toes, digging in gold sand.

My Tuscan summer.


I turn my gaze across this immense continent:

another island waits for my return.

No terra cotta earth, no golden, sun-baked sand,

no uterine-allusions there.

Just rocky shores brushed green by rain,

leaning cedar towers beaten back by Pacific rage.

Chocolate soil, powdery,

covers these older toes of mine and

muddies night-time bath water.

My Vancouver Island winter.