In spare yet sure strokes, Lucretia Pretorius conjures up a childhood in rural Canada, where sentient trees and winter's aurora borealis silently wove themselves into a young girl's imagination. All, alas, left behind when she moved with her husband and infant daughter to South Africa. To a barren land, alien culture, and loveless marriage.
Even so, meadows and trillium-carpeted woods can never be truly left behind. They are very much present, along with the people and places of Africa she came to love, in the verse of a woman who refused to be crushed by a life-time of departures.
In woods, after winter
when wet winds blow,
walking, I kick aside November’s brown oak leaves,
discover the first bloom,
Spring Beauty, rising
out of black, snow-drenched earth —