Poems by Scott Norton

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Conservation

by Scott Norton

From Canary Fall 2014

Scott lives on Redwood Shores Lagoon, at the base of the Belmont Creek watershed, in California. The manmade lagoon, on land "reclaimed" from San Francisco Bay wetlands in the 1960s to build an amusement park, now allows Scott to view 44 bird species (and counting) from his condo balcony.

Theyíve created a small mountain in my name. At its base are the chassis of my old cars and appliances. The topsoil derives from a thousand hampersí worth of my discarded clothing, shirts with one lost button, trousers with pocket holes. Now all that mulching cotton nourishes the roots of plants, while layers of polyester trap the rain in aquifers. Along the interpretive trail, I find my old futons and sofas recycled as park benches. The preserve boasts many splendors: a freon stream, a moraine of clamshell takeout containers, a lake iridescent with sunblock. This alkaline tufa of frothy white corrosion is a monument of all the batteries that have served me. Even the air tastes familiar, as if collected from the highway shoulder where I once hung a coffee filter for a school project, the paper disk blackening like our lungs. Iíll go as far as the next valley, which is verdant, Iím told, with loam enriched by half a centuryís scrapings from my plate.




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