A poem by Sue Chenette

Geology, 1952
we kept the pretty ones
broken open to sparkling
mica schists
they must have been
dashed to the sidewalk
on long green afternoons
one quartz pebble tumbled
tiny egg
one round black river stone a weight
contained in perfect smoothness
lit in dusty windowlight
on a sill upstairs in the shed
out along the alley
bright hollyhocks sprung weedy
from glacial till beneath
the patchy lawns we knew
and deeper than our knowing
capped with limestone
the folded peneplain
its Archean gneiss and schists
beneath our stones
beneath our long green afternoons
earth’s bones


Sue Chenette is the author of Slender Human Weight (Guernica Editions, 2009), The Bones of His Being (Guernica Editions, 2012), and the documentary poem What We Said (Motes Books, 2019), based on her time as a social worker during Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.  A classical pianist, poet, and editor, she grew up in northern Wisconsin and has made her home in Toronto since 1972. Her collection, Clavier, Paris, Alyssum, is forthcoming from Aeolus House in fall 2020.

Photo by Nicolas Solerieu

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