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Near Kinsella
- Jim Stewart


Alberta into Saskatchewan
crossing miles of frozen farmland
distance marked by
quickly forgotten road signs
and old wooden elevators
with proud white letters
8 feet high & 50 feet up
the letters now fading but
still marking the towns
where our grandparents
once grew ambitions
of someday becoming more
than what they were

untold lifetimes reflected
in the rearview mirror, briefly
before passing out of sight
attention given once more
to this ribbon of cracked
pavement flanked by
barbed wire fences
            weathered and sagging

driving east from Edmonton
underneath a textureless sky
i notice that winter
is a thief
that all the wonderful colours
have been taken away
            except for brown
and there are a million shades of brown
in the leafless aspen
and dense willows
in the old fenceposts
and rusty wire
under the peeling paint
of lonely farmhouses
and old grain elevators
            a million goddamn shades
and me, trading Alberta
for Saskatchewan
in late december
and already
wishing for spring

©2002 Jim Stewart 01/01/02


Jim Stewart spends most of his time lost in the forest north of Slave Lake, AB.
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