One Wide Sky

by Susan Ioannou

submission info

(Quebec Referendum, October 30, 1995)

Whose words are so sharp and shiny
they try to splinter this land

when shore to shore
we all watch one wide sky

and mountains and plains are alive
with rustles, our growing?

This restless swinging is nothing new.
For centuries, autumn shed red and orange.

Evergreen, still our roots hold
as firm on rock as deep in a lilied field.

Side by side, snow and ice link us. We lean
away from south's balmier winds.

Our own spring births healthy seedlings
under one northern sun

and summer fans out ever more ancient rings.
This land can't be owned, only borrowed

--why, tough as Canadian Shield, we long
to bury words bent and ill-honed

and sing Mon Pays is our heartwood
stronger in Canada.

Copyright 1996 by Susan Ioannou

Reprinted from Where the Light Waits (Ekstasis Editions, Victoria, B.C., 1996)

Widely published in literary magazines across Canada, Susan Ioannou is the author of Clarity Between Clouds (Goose Lane Editions, 1991), Where the Light Waits (Ekstasis Editions, 1996) and the children's novel A Real Farm Girl (Hodgepog Books, 1998).
    for more info visit:
-Wordwrights Canada
-University of Toronto Library Web site of Canadian Poets