Driftless Terroir: ‘Regionalism’

By Grace Vosen

Geologists will call this place “Driftless,”
But it defies term, time, and space, Driftless.

A death below the ice hath no sting here,
The absence leaving its own trace: Driftless.

Knotted oak holding court upon the bluff,
Trout stream free of any millrace: Driftless.

Deep spirituality of nations
Carved into the soft sandstone face: Driftless.

Now, agricultural centers decline,
But we cultivate our home base, Driftless.

Here, we are living the examined life;
No better word for this pace than “Driftless.”

(Summer’s arrived for good this time, we think,
But we’ll split more wood just in case, Driftless.)

The city dwellers drive quixotically
Westward in their Audis to chase Driftless.

Meanwhile, I’m barefoot in the river.
With my whole being, I embrace Driftless.

Living here, I become one with all things.
I am not myself: I am Grace, Driftless.

Grace Vosen

Grace Vosen is a writer and conservation educator making her home in Spring Green. She blogs about both the human and nonhuman communities of our region at DriftlessGrace.com.

Driftless Terroir (ter-WAHR) is a series featuring guest voices celebrating the intersection of land and culture — the essence of life in the Driftless Area — with topics including art and architecture, farming and gardening, cooking and eating, fermenting and drinking, and more. To contribute to Driftless Terroir, e-mail info@voiceoftherivervalley.com.