Cassidy McFadzean: A Poem

Cassidy McFadzean

We return to places we’ve already been.
The path outside the city pulls us in.

Winter kept our footprints whole,
mud-covered fossils hidden under snow,

so walking on old steps weighs the negatives of who
we were against the imprints of what we’ve become.

This year, my body is locust-thwacked.
Their buzzing bodies struck my skin

and landed on tilled earth, whirling insects
like spinning tops animated from within. 

There’s an order to such tiny things.
Is our passage any less stupid or dizzy?

My fortune cookie promised
I’d meet a stranger on an unpaved road.

I found the blue jay with a cut wing in a tree.
His triangle gash shadow-painted branches.

Between two hills and the rusted tractors
abandoned in a straight line, we feel the weight of sky.

We’re a tin can crushed by the rubber of your shoe.
We’re the shell of a seed that splits in two.

We stand on red and yellow leaves,
the cloak of round petals peeled over ground

like mosaic tiles leading to the valley’s portico.
In smooth pebbles at the river’s bed

the stag emerges from still water,
his antlers, hands reaching from scattered stones.  

Cassidy McFadzean is the author of Hacker Packer (McClelland & Stewart 2015). She has been a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize, the Walrus Poetry Prize, and won second place in the 2014 Short Grain Contest. Cassidy lives in Regina and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Read our conversation here.

Image by Mirja Paljakka/courtesy of Red Edge