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.