We are made of stories. My daughter the fertile field
from the folk tale where all day the family plowed and dressed
the earth. And as midnight approached a rooster sang out
and the soil rose like the wing of a bird, dipped in the wind,
and turned over once more, showed its grassy back and stones
a million years old.
Who are we but the breath of another, but the dust
off the shoulders of the stars. She turns, and turns again,
and I don’t know if she is field or air, stone or bird.
A fox once said tame me, and I shall love to listen to the wind
in the wheat. But I love the quiver of a fox’s nose, reading the dark
tale of scent that shivers under fur tippedwith frost;
a russet stubble my fingers can only imagine.
Besides, she calls the birds, trembling from the sky
and holds them in her palm, feeds them the sun
flower seeds from her pockets. She knows to keep
seed in her pocket, and pebbles, lip gloss, marbles,
a safety pin.
The family in the story wakes and they feel deceived,
what was plowed is wild, no matter how many times their
blades turn into the earth,
the field is only ever itself, changing nightly.
Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang is the author of the poetry books Status Update (2013), which was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award, and Sweet Devilry (2011), winner of the Gerald Lampert. She is also the editor of the anthology Desperately Seeking Susans and a bunch of children's books. She is a professor of creative writing at Sheridan College.