In­va­sion Stud­ies

Prairie Fire - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - JODY BALTESSEN

I.

we take root

tap­root

drive deep

into the flood plain, clay

fork around

bone, stone, rem­nants of fire

an­chor our­selves

rhi­zomes en­rich­ing, peren­nat­ing

stolons run­ning, twist­ing, tak­ing

hold

be­tween prairie sage

big bluestem, clover

pur­ple white

II.

nat­u­ral­ized

we spread

over­win­ter

close to the ground

come spring

we clone and crowd

car­pet the plain, curl

open to claim

the land be­tween the rivers’ far flung legs

Acts of In­scrip­tion

the said city shall be bounded as fol­lows:

com­menc­ing a be­gin­ning, not THE be­gin­ning, but

our be­gin­ning, our body politic lay­ing claim, here

where the northerly limit of lot 224 strikes the wa­ter’s edge of the red

river fol­low the sur­vey line, de­mark, de­fine, two miles out from the

river road, hay-lands, com­mons

thence north­west­erly to the eastern limit of the high­way past the

english and the french, their saints claim­ing their long lots nar­row

thence southerly to the wa­ter’s edge of the assini­boine river af­ter the

ice, agas­siz, and then the forks, se­quen­tial lay­ers of an­cient hearths,

fish scales ochre bone and wood, run bi­son

thence east­erly down the edge of the same with the stream to the place of

be­gin­ning com­plete the cir­cle, this lay­er­ing on of words, this

bind­ing of the un­bound plain

In­va­sion Stud­ies, Reprise

we loose our seed

to the lay­ered earth, dig in

en­tan­gled we con­sume the sun, our root­stock

our shoots, our reach­ing leaves thrive

well placed we bloom, bear fruit – our scent

force­ful im­pe­rial

bursts above the plain, hangs there

Lines in ital­ics in­spired by Clause II of the Act to In­cor­po­rate the City of

Win­nipeg (Statutes of Man­i­toba, 1873, Cap. 7., 37 Vic­to­ria), as­sented to on

Novem­ber 8, 1873.

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