A second after

the first boat touched the shore,

there was a quick skirmish

brief as a twinge

and then the land was settled

(of course there was really

no shore: the water turned

to land by having objects in it: caught and kept

from surge, made less than immense

by networks of

roads and grids of fences)

and as for us, who drifted

picked by the sharks

during so many bluegreen

centuries before they came:

they found us

inland, stranded

on a ridge of bedrock,

defining our own island.

From our inarticulate

skeleton (so

intermixed, one


they postulated wolves.

They dug us down

into the solid granite

where our bones grew flesh again,

came up trees and



we are the salt

seas that uphold these lands.

Now horses graze

inside this fence of ribs, and

children run, with green

smiles, (not knowing

where) across

the fields of our open hands.

-The Settlers, Margaret Atwood


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