Hard Red Spring

The day I stood on the clipped grass of Olds College –
after palming Norquay, Chinook, and Neepawa,
until my fingers had unlocked their doors,
and I could smell the loam and feel the wind,
and see three months of rain and heat,
in an amber seed of Hard Red Spring wheat
– I saw kaleidoscopic rings around the sun.
And at the sun-dog-ends of those high-noon rims,
were more rings intersecting, and at each intersection,
like Ezekiel’s wheels in wheels and ever-moving eyes,
were more rings, until the sky was bejewelled,
like the pierced lobes of a thousand harlots.
And I had just read The Late Great Planet Earth,
and my girlfriend told me she was pregnant,
and I bought a Living Bible and raced back to my room,
to wait for the rapture and tribulation and millennial reign,
that wouldn’t come by naming, only by fasting;
that would keep safe the obsequious,
but confound the concupiscent,
and condemn all the students,
of Human Development.
And I waited.
And the morning came and my girlfriend arrived on the bus,
and we moved into the basement of a pagan.
And I again bought cigarettes and blew circles of smoke
in the backyard, behind a hedge, hidden from the horizon,
to try and keep her safe from my own piebald imaginings.
But I was chained by eschatology,
and feared being only almost-ready;
and it was a long zionic hangover before I could see to stand.
A long time sifting chaff and spotting blight and blotch,
so to see kernels as kernels and crops without circles.
Until releasing my recommitted virginity,
I could grow a sprout at the germ end of self-mercy,
and see again an epiphany in a grain of wheat,
without needing to be stunned above the eye by a harvest moon,
hurled by Mary Grace, across some doctor’s waiting room.