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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

Acre *

On the other side

of the property line

the riverbank

the river,

chestnut,        basswood,     black walnut, 
American elm,       black willow,
bitternut hickory,     blue beech,       butternut,    

blue ash, sassafras in its leaf asymmetry,


 in                    a        



No one counting.

As if measure itself had dozed

                        off in the shade


its cadence


acre by


            by acre          


                   ac re by                        acre b       y ac

re by ac            re by     acre b

y  a c    re    b     y

rearranged itself



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.

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