Salt Spring Island

It happened this way. A runaway slave named Tyler
made his way out of Georgia all the way to Canada to Salt Spring island.
Injured by dogs he walked with a limp. He was good with horses.
He moved in with a local woman whose husband died.

He made her tea from wild roses. She died in childbirth along with their son.
The seasons wheeled round him and the oak trees grew inside their rough skins.
He went to town and came home sick and unsteady with the grip. God spoke to him.

The stars leaked through the chinks in his cabin roof.
Ezekiel’s wheel turned above him a great fiery menace.
He saw the future through the wheel spokes.
He accidentally saw me standing in my kitchen by the basement steps.

Some future leaked back and some past came forward.
Not enough to save him but enough to wake me.
The seasons turn around me now like the stamping
of horses at the corral gate near Tyler’s farm.

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