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40 Below Volume 2 is now officially for sale in stores across Alberta as well as online. As people start to check this book out we need to make a correction and offer an important apology:

There is a poem that appears in the book entitled North Saskatchewan by poet Jennifer Bowering Delisle. In the book version a formatting error caused Jennifer’s poem to appear without the spacing and line breaks that she originally intended. We failed to see this error as the book entered the proof phase and unfortunately the book was printed without fixing the changes that were unintentionally made to Jennifer Bowering Delisle’s poem. We take full responsibility for this mistake and sincerely want to apologize to Ms. Delisle for not taking the proper care and attention with her poem. With Jennifer’s permission we have put the original version of her poem “North Saskatchewan” on our website for you all to enjoy.

 

 

 

North Saskatchewan

It carries glacial genes from the Icefields.

Snow fed, it knows

how to be a body in the cold.

Every day the train crossed the river,

            twenty seconds of light

between the tunnels through the banks.

I watched it freeze up,

            rafts of white snagging beneath the bridge,

                                    frazil ice,

                        pans linked along the shoreline.

Inside me my son was building

white fat on bone.

He was born in December

when the days were narrowed,

seconds of light between the black banks

of a northern night.

Next December he will touch snow.

And watch the river from the bridge,

            the brushstrokes of wind,

            the city outfalls melting open leads.

Walleye and pike have learned

to live beneath the snow pack

            to feed on the cold minnows and darkness

            that swim the silty channel bars.

And all year long we drink the river.