When humans learned to farm in the Agricultural Revolution their collective power to shape the environment increased, but the lot of many individuals grew harsher.
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens
On the other side
of the property line
chestnut, basswood, black walnut,
American elm, black willow,
bitternut hickory, blue beech, butternut,
blue ash, sassafras in its leaf asymmetry,
No one counting.
As if measure itself had dozed
off in the shade
ac re by acre b y ac
re by ac re by acre b
y a c re b y
how the land spoke over the divide
how a single tree standing
on the farm
could nonetheless hum
a whole chorus
* Old English denoting the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day.
Tonya Lailey has just completed her MFA through the University of British Columbia School of Writing and is shaping her poetry manuscript FARM: Lot 23 into her first book. She has recently been published in FreeFall Magazine and Mason Street and has poems forthcoming with IceFloe Press, the Anthropocene Project and the Summer Madness edition of Bindweed Magazine. Tonya lives in Canada and works in the wine trade.