Topiary

Between hedgerows your mind’s 

fox slows its feet, stills the thistled  

fleece it tows behind. 

 

Fleece or flag unwound —

a warning draped to fall 

between hedgerows: mind

 

the quarry assigned

a human role, the charcoal

towed behind

 

a discharged rifle. Its sudden

bolt incises a mantle

between hedgerows, your mind

 

composed, a clearing blind 

to the rabble

of passersby towed behind

 

in shadow. They linger downwind

as you steal 

between hedgerows, your mind 

a fleece you tow behind.

Published online June 11 2014.

Jim Johnstone is the author of three books of poetry and the subject of the critical monograph “Proofs & Equational Love: The Poetry of Jim Johnstone” by Shane Neilson and Jason Guriel. He’s the winner of several awards including the CBC Poetry Prize, Matrix Magazine’s LitPop Award and The Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize. Currently, he’s the poetry editor at Palimpsest Press.


Poetry Only cover image

This piece was published in ‘Poetry Only,’ the Spring 2014 issue of CV2.

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