wildness is fierce and audacious in the foothills. the
further up the mountain,
the more deeply the essence of the undomesticated horse is embedded. it rolls
around inside their barrels, fills their heads with an intoxicating current
that makes their manes curl and their tails flag. they are a perpetual storm.
follow the streams downhill towards the east, however, and that current collides
with large swaths of grazing cattle left to roam the free leases.
in late spring they are let loose to ruminate on the prairie grasses just beginning
to sprout. come high summer, a drive along the trunk road is like a stroll
through a steamy bath house — cows heavy with heat meander along the ditches
and ignore the calves who frolic out into oncoming trucks. chewing and chewing
while they wallow in pools of shade, chewing and chewing while tuning out
the incessant buzz of black flies and mosquitoes. shallow creeks with fragile
banks that provide their drinking water become slides of mud, filled with sediment.
the exhausted prairie becomes cratered. a moon fractured by hundreds of cloven
hooves carrying the weight of half-ton bovines.
Trisia Eddy Woods is a writer, artist, and wildlife photographer who lives in Edmonton / amiskwaciwâskahikan. Her writing has been published in a variety of journals, both in print and online, and the chapbook ‘Edith & Aurelia: A Romantic Tragedy in Five Acts’ was published by dancing girl press. She has had artwork exhibited both at home and internationally. Her current project explores the intersection of wild horses and solastalgia in the Alberta foothills.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan