Prairie Messenger Header



(Janice Weber photo)


it is November.
a dusting of snow covers the Herschel hills.
charcoal darkness outlines contours
and deep ravines of thick bare brush
where deer fattened on farm fields
will hide to shelter from harsh winter winds.

blue sky has been obscured
by pastel layers of soft atmosphere
over the long line of hills, high rise of land,
fertile valley grid stretched far below
where this year’s harvest thankfully is done.
a silent graveyard keeps it’s constant view.

midwinter drama awaits above the hills,
shifting sheers of iridescent coloured light,
stars like snowflakes in a gauzy Milky Way.
constellations sharply clear in cold dark space.
these familiar hills murmur their memories,
ancient whoops of joy, moans of misery.

Native peoples hunted buffalo in Herschel hills.
newcomers fresh from Europe settled near.
annually the untamed hills carpet themselves
with an abundance of flowering plants and grasses,
although all is blanketed in serenity for now,
peaceful until the burst of spring in March.

By Shirley Dawn Salkeld