Tough Roots

Tough Roots

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Tough Roots

Jean McCallion

6 X 9 inches, 80 pages

Penumbra Press Poetry Series, No. 17

THE DISCOVERY OF HER WELSH GREAT-GRANDPARENTS' GRAVES in the Lake Rosseau area, where her great-grandparents had settled in 1868, prompted Jean McCallion to tell their story through poetry. It is the story of their attempt to make a living, to take up the bone-breaking tasks of felling trees, burning slash, uprooting stumps, and building roads. In recording the exchange of hardships and dreams, Jean McCallion accurately identifies the frustrations and the farewells.

Tonight read me in stones—

solitary in a wayward field
secure in their lying down,
unmoved by the moon
or rage of hurrying waters.
Tonight read me in stones
not worn down by a river's
surging erosion but restrained under stars,
green flicker of Northern Lights,
teasing of fickle shadows—

stones far from the mad dash
the sting and the splash
flung down by a frivolous ocean.

Tonight Read Me in Stones

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