Susan Telfer


My Planet

O this great beloved world and all the creatures in it.
         —P. K. Page

I was in space, I watched as planets spun,
brightly tinted and shining, around the sun.
I was trying to catch a rusty planet,
but it pulled too fast—I kept missing it.

Suddenly I saw a lustrous planet,
detailed green and glistening blue, intricate,
rushing toward me. “Oh, the Earth!” I thought,
“My home. That's the planet I should have caught.”

I watched Earth as it spun past and around.
“Hold onto your home planet!”—Was that sound
my voice, as I watched the continents form?
Amen. How could I have been mistaken?

I remember the gym-sized relief map
and I, a child on a skywalk overlap.  
I steamed above B.C. as on a strange
iron. My eyes smoothed each mountain range.

Now I saw carrots grow in our garden,
dragonflies skim through our yard. The advent
of the children's faces my womb would birth:
the things I most care about on this earth.

I saw Greenland's icebergs melt, command
snowy winters for my sister in England.

I loved the holy surface of the planet,
my faint life, traced on a western wet
edge of a continent in a band of time,
all the varied molecules and enzymes.
I felt like I was about to be born.
This is what I'd come for, my forlorn world.

P. K. Page

November 23rd, 1916—
January 14th, 2010

P. K. Page, U. of Calgary, 1989

P. K. Page received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Calgary in 1989. Photo courtesy of Michael Page.