Red Ribbon Trail

Norma Marder

Reviewed by Karen Wilson Baptist

16 Aug 2017


Mon­hegan Island, August 61992

Today is the thir­ti­eth anniver­sary of my father’s death. The date usu­al­ly approach­es and van­ish­es like head­lights on a coun­try road. Oh-my-god, tomor­row is August sixth … damn-it, yes­ter­day was August sixth.

I sit on a milk crate on our slop­ing lawn, drink­ing cof­fee. Morn­ing sun glit­ters on the sea below. Gulls cry. Col­lapsed years bal­loon and con­tract like an accordion.

The sum­mer after my father died, our first sum­mer on the island, a post­card came from the Patchogue syn­a­gogue, announc­ing Can­tor Rajeck’s yort­sayt and the ser­vice of unveil­ing. The obser­vance meant noth­ing to Mama and me and his grave was far away, so his tomb­stone, which I designed, stood naked on the day marked for its bless­ing. The cards kept com­ing, year after year, date of death writ­ten in the blank. A com­mand to light a can­dle and say kadish. A reproach.

I sit in a sun­ny patch, cradling the cof­fee cup. Dew-catch­ers dot the grass. Duff, my neigh­bor Clara’s tawny cat, sleeps at my feet, his mat­ted bel­ly ris­ing and falling.

Sun­lit sea, sun-washed rocks. We exist for a nanosec­ond, they mur­mur. I shake off pan­ic, watch Duff’s bel­ly rise and fall.

A painter trudges up the hill.

Orga­nized reli­gion is pet­ty pol­i­tics, my father used to say. Self-inter­est, he meant, pow­er grabs, trib­al pres­sures, con­for­mi­ty. He believed in social jus­tice, in peace and free­dom. He sang the Fri­day night litur­gy with beau­ty and deep feel­ing, but ate choco­late bars on Yom Kip­pur to keep up his strength. His faith, held in secret, was a nigun, a melody with­out words, sent direct­ly to God’s ears.

He died at fifty-eight. I just turned fifty-eight.

A voice in my head says mourn him today. What is mourn­ing? How should I do it? The voice says walk the Red Rib­bon trail.

Over the years I’ve walked every trail in the wild­lands and along the shore except Red Rib­bon. Peo­ple say it’s dark, mys­te­ri­ous. I don’t know. My father relat­ed to his past by secret­ly writ­ing mem­oirs and hid­ing them in a draw­er. Per­haps I relate to trails in a sim­i­lar way, per­haps I need a trail I nev­er vis­it to exist in my imag­i­na­tion and make the island larger.

I lace up my hik­ing boots.

The road is dusty, the grass parched. I cross the ball field, pass Clara’s sun­flow­ers, and step onto the White­head trail.

Mon­archs and drag­on­flies flit in the sun. Bar­ber­ry tan­gles with ser­vice­ber­ry, pur­ple fringed orchis lurks among leg­gy asters. Soli­tude braces me — the feel­ing is fresh every time — as if I were drawn in black ink with broad strokes — a sense of end­ing at my skin and being ful­ly con­tained with­in it, respon­si­ble for my feet and the direc­tion they take — a soli­tary crea­ture prowl­ing a small for­est that feels like wilderness.

What will hap­pen to my father when I mourn? When I accept, when I embrace his death? Will he fade?

The sun­ny decid­u­ous trail ends at a steep dip into a spa­cious spruce for­est car­pet­ed with nee­dles. Beyond an over­hang­ing branch a tiny red rib­bon hangs on a knob­by trunk. My breath slows.

The foot­path is nar­row and lumpy, the under­brush lit­tered with sil­ver twigs. Sun­beams glide across hum­mocks of pin­cush­ion moss, tap­ping tiny orange caps, yel­low Amani­ta, and red bunchberries.

I hold my father — walk and car­ry him whole, lift­ed up from wher­ev­er I buried him.

He’s in the hos­pi­tal, can­cer metas­ta­siz­ing. He obsess­es over his catheter bag, cling­ing to life by mea­sur­ing his flu­id. August sixth he has pain for the first time; gets mor­phine. It’s my fault he has pain!” Mama wails. This morn­ing I gave him orange juice — I shouldn’t have — he didn’t even want it — he drank it to make me hap­py. You know how he is.”

The trail nar­rows and winds, boxed in by dense brush.

My father is comatose. His col­league Jer­ry, a young Hebrew teacher, sits in a chair, hunched over a bible. He rocks and prays, a deep com­plic­i­ty between him and my father, the old bond between Jew­ish men who con­duct exclu­sive busi­ness with God.

Dad­dy breathes qui­et­ly, a lit­tle snore now and then. His face is gray, his nose thin and pinched, his eyes closed in iron-clad sleep. I stroke his hand. Mama strokes his forehead.

Your hand is cold, Dad­dy, it keeps to itself — it nev­er keeps to itself. I lift his hand and kiss it.

Max, Max,” Mama cries softly.

Jer­ry gives us a look which means move, please. He sits on the bed and smooths cream on my father’s cheeks. Ten­der as a son, he shaves the gray stub­ble, solemn­ly inton­ing prayers. Dark­ness wash­es up, the reli­gion embrac­ing my father. I feel embar­rassed, exclud­ed — incred­i­ble, how Mama and I allow our­selves to be exclud­ed. While Jer­ry prais­es God and shaves Daddy’s sunken cheeks, we hud­dle dumb­ly, pas­sive­ly, against the wall.

Super­sti­tion, Mama grum­bles. We go to the lounge and mill aim­less­ly. The doc­tor finds us. The can­tor has passed away,” he says, reduc­ing my father to a leaf on the wind. I hold my scream­ing mother.

Jer­ry bows over the bed, wail­ing, beat­ing his breast.

Mama shrieks, It’s my fault! I killed him with the orange juice!”

Daddy’s face is gran­ite, his breath gone. Unbearable.

The trail curves sharply. I stand in a dark, cir­cu­lar space, walled and roofed with dead spruce branch­es. It’s silent, somber, sur­round­ed by a lat­tice of sun-tipped dead branch­es weav­ing deep into the forest.

A chapel, a sacred grove.

Death and decay all around, but it’s beau­ti­ful and odd­ly com­fort­ing. I look up along taper­ing trunks, past dead twigs, and there, against the sky, feath­ery green branch­es sway, the green of liv­ing trees.

This is the deep com­fort of wild­lands — life in death. A sun­beam strikes a curved mossy log and it glows emer­ald green, radi­ance flar­ing into me. I cry with grief, with joy, with an over­whelm­ing sense of gratitude.

As I leave the chapel a steady pant­i­ng rhythm echoes through the still­ness. In a disc of clear blue sky, a large crow flies round and round, its wings solemn­ly beat­ing. It caws once, then wheels away.

Some­thing cracks beyond the vis­i­ble. I cry at sparkling water jew­els dan­gling off a shelf fun­gus. I cry at a decay­ing trunk feed­ing baby spruces.

So this is mourn­ing — this col­lab­o­ra­tion. A solemn hold­ing and let­ting go. I bring my father to the for­est and the for­est receives him. I didn’t cry at the funer­al. Mama did the cry­ing, she sucked out all the grief from his grave, scream­ing, I killed him with the orange juice.” My turn, now; togeth­er, the for­est and I ful­fill a cer­e­mo­ny of mourn­ing. He didn’t like the out­doors, yet he is present.

I turn back. Beside the trail a per­fect spi­der’s web hangs between saplings, dew­drops sparkling on the inter­sec­tions of iri­des­cent threads. I sway like my father pray­ing at the Ark, cry­ing as the web appears and dis­ap­pears, as dew­drops wink on the cir­cles. I think of Red Paint pot­tery in bur­ial sites cir­cling the North Pole, etched with designs of con­nect­ed dots. Red Paint Indi­ans walked the island sev­en thou­sand years ago — their foot­prints rise from the earth, our feet joined sole to sole like reflec­tions in water.

My friends’ friends in the Ivory Coast would smile know­ing­ly. Your ances­tors walk with you, they would say; your ances­tors send the mossy log and the crow, the water jew­els and the spider’s web.

August 71992

Eager­ly, I set out to pho­to­graph yesterday’s totems. A cloudy morn­ing. Near the turnoff a deer crash­es through the underbrush.

With­out sun, the chapel clos­es in on itself, shroud­ed in gloom. The mossy log sleeps on a bed of dry needles.

Chas­tened, I pho­to­graph the shelf fun­gus on a dead trunk, drops of water in its rub­bery palm.

Today is its own day, with­out signs, a day for explor­ing. The trail winds upward, hemmed in by feath­ery young spruces, then opens into an amphithe­ater with dark fern glades on the down­ward slope.

Uphill the sun breaks through, illu­mi­nat­ing the pup­py-paw leaves of a young maple. Baby spruces gleam; pat­terns of light dance on boul­ders. The halves of a split dead maple arch to the ground, its humus-rich crotch home to moss and tiny saplings.

Dead tree, sun­light on live spruce. The for­est comes alive, bring­ing my father. You wrote me into An Eye for Dark Places, he says. I am the glow­ing wells and men’s names mean­ing light. I am the float­ing hous­es made of radi­ant flakes. I am the head singing in a phos­pho­res­cent cave.

The novel’s heart. Secret­ly beat­ing all the years I was writ­ing it. As he sang nigu­nim to a God whose name can­not be spo­ken, so he sang to me.

Quick­ly I pho­to­graph the split maple with its illu­mi­nat­ed off­spring of moss and saplings, des­per­ate to catch some approx­i­ma­tion of mean­ing before the light goes.

My edi­tor will still accept revi­sions. I rewrite the book’s final paragraph.

What does my name mean?” he asks.
It means light,’” she says.

August 61999

This year Dad­dy would have been nine­ty-five and Mama, who died two years ago, would have been ninety-two.

Ten o’clock on Red Rib­bon, sun fil­ter­ing through. In the chapel, the sun-tipped branch­es still weave into the for­est, but the moss is gray from lack of rain, and time is dim­ming my totems. Dry nee­dles blan­ket the curved log; the shelf fun­gus is gone, leav­ing a rub­bery white scar. The bifur­cat­ed tree looks shab­by, the crotch filled with debris. I walk slow­ly, med­i­tat­ing on Dad­dy, tak­ing pho­tographs. I don’t want to imag­ine him ninety-five.

Spruces have fall­en; the for­est is lighter. Uphill, off the trail, a lit­tle glade beck­ons. Come here, it says, come on up. I climb to a bright cir­cle of grass and moss, lit­tered with cones.

Speak to me, I say to the spot. A lit­tle bird alights on a twig near the ground, a bird no big­ger than a plum. It flits to a baby spruce, then dis­ap­pears. Two branch­es quiver. I cock the shut­ter. The bird appears on a shad­ed branch. I snap; it flies away.


August 62000

I head for Red Rib­bon car­ry­ing a lit­tle red prayer book. I found it this win­ter in the draw­er where Mama kept her song books, choral music, and pro­grams. Sur­pris­ing, how neat and order­ly she kept her music. On top was the soft leather ring binder con­tain­ing her per­for­mance reper­toire, hun­dreds of folk song lyrics, some she’d writ­ten in Yid­dish script, some translit­er­at­ed, her spir­it lin­ger­ing in the torn, scuffed pages and worn black leather. Under fold­ers of choral music was Leon’s palm-size prayer book (Mama remar­ried), kadish translit­er­at­ed on the last page. I took it to Cham­paign and on the morn­ing of Mama’s third yort­sayt I said — sang — cried kadish to the urn on the man­tel, to her ash­es, the first time I’ve ever said kadish for — actu­al­ly to — a parent.

Self-con­scious about car­ry­ing a prayer book, I con­jure up a shad­owy image of Dad­dy, not sure if it’s from mem­o­ry or pho­tographs. He died when Michael was two and Yuri not born. Sad­ness comes on cue — an ache for the holes in their lives where their grand­fa­ther should have been.

Clara’s sun­flow­ers nod; petu­nias flour­ish in her win­dow box­es. Clara has stom­ach spells”; fam­i­ly is liv­ing with her. Duff, my break­fast com­pan­ion, died over the winter.

Some­where on the Red Rib­bon trail I will sing kadish for Dad­dy. I remem­ber Fri­day night ser­vices as a child, when the rab­bi said, Will all the mourn­ers please rise,” and a scat­tered few rose and mur­mured kadish, haloed by loss. I used to twist around to watch them in their suits and dark dress­es, mur­mur­ing sad­ly, humbly — some read­ing, some pray­ing with closed eyes — sin­gled out and lift­ed into a state of pen­i­tence. An oblig­a­tion for the sec­u­lar mourn­ers; a solace for the devout.

Prayer baf­fles me. This old Ara­ma­ic prayer in par­tic­u­lar — a prayer for the dead which doesn’t speak of death or ask for bless­ings. It works oblique­ly, brib­ing God with extrav­a­gant prais­es so the dead will receive mer­cy. A stern require­ment, I think, to praise God from the depths of despair, like Job. I found the rules gov­ern­ing kadish in Daddy’s Hamadrikh, a rabbi’s guide to rit­u­als and cer­e­mo­ni­als. After a loved one’s death we are com­mand­ed to say kadish every day for a week, then every week for eleven months. Dead souls suf­fer anx­i­ety dur­ing their first year so we say kadish to redeem them, to send them to par­adise. On cer­tain hol­i­days we give mon­ey in atone­ment and main­tain good con­duct to obtain divine grace for them.

On Fri­day nights my father sang kadish with the mourn­ers. A mourn­er among mourn­ers. I hear his voice — the haunt­ing melody keen­ing each verse of praise. I imag­ine him think­ing of his moth­er and father, his sis­ters and brother.

May the name of the Holy One be blessed, praised, glo­ri­fied, wor­shipped, extolled, mag­ni­fied, hon­ored, and adored, in words beyond all song and psalm, beyond all trib­utes and prais­es that can be expressed in the world. And let us say Amen.

I used to sing Ravel’s Kadish for voice and piano, draw­ing mean­ing from the tra­di­tion­al melody, the hyp­not­ic rep­e­ti­tions, and our lost fam­i­ly. Daddy’s trans­la­tion was pen­ciled in the score.

I stopped per­form­ing it after he died.

An Amani­ta flaunts its dead­ly yel­low. Kadish plays in my head. Per­haps because my mind is filled with the song, it isn’t open to pagan epipha­nies. No mossy logs or jew­eled spi­der webs. No lit­tle birds.

In a glade off the trail a shaft of light strikes two con­i­cal white mush­rooms, phal­lic and erect. Not a sacred spot, but it will do. I stand by the mush­rooms. Open the prayer book. The space feels exposed. It’s not just a mat­ter of singing, but of bring­ing an ancient prayer into the for­est and wrestling it to mean­ing in the pres­ence of two mush­rooms. I clear my throat and begin. I feel ridicu­lous singing — cry­ing—kadish to a pair of mush­rooms. Tiny brown ants scur­ry over a log.

I walk on and bush­whack into anoth­er glade. Take pho­tos. Walk deep­er into the woods and stop at a moss-cov­ered fall­en tree, its upturned roots worn into a star. This is the spot. A flat orange mush­room appears among ferns. I sing kadish again, in a high­er key, with deep feel­ing but no tears, sing it to the orange mush­room. As I sing, dozens of tiny orange mush­rooms mate­ri­al­ize, orange but­tons on white threads — a whole colony, like ants.

The colony’s roots may have thread­ed the island for decades, for cen­turies, for millennia.

I frame the scene and try to cock the shutter.

August 62001

Near the turn-off to Red Rib­bon four mon­archs wheel in a patch of sun­light. One lands on my thigh. It flies off and anoth­er one lands, or the same one. A monarch lands on my head. All four cling to me. The but­ter­fly on my thigh puls­es, its wings open­ing and closing.

On a sud­den breeze they soar into a tree.

I sing kadish high off the trail at a cave formed by the tow­er­ing roots of a fall­en spruce. The mos­qui­toes are fero­cious. I sing quick­ly and flee.

In the patch of light, larg­er now, mon­archs and del­i­cate yel­low sul­phurs wheel about, con­ven­ing on flower stalks and rocks, skim­ming into trees.

August 62002

Remem­ber­ing my devout grand­moth­er recent­ly, I won­dered, since a dying man gets shaved, what cleans­ing rit­u­al is per­formed for a dying woman?

I opened the Hamadrikh to laws con­cern­ing a dying per­son. A dying per­son is to be con­sid­ered a liv­ing being in all respects. It is there­fore for­bid­den to touch the body. The one who does touch the body is guilty of blood­shed (for it may accel­er­ate the end).”

Stunned, I checked the web. If the limb of a dying per­son pro­trudes from the bed, you are for­bid­den to replace it. You may only touch a dying per­son if the house catch­es fire. The law cre­ates eth­i­cal prob­lems for doctors.

I asked the local rab­bi. He laughed. Shav­ing rit­u­al? I’d say the guy took it on him­self to make your father look better.

I turn onto Red Rib­bon, brush­ing cob­webs of con­fu­sion. Tor­ren­tial rain last night, leav­ing a hob­bit world of mush­rooms. Mama used to ridicule Dad­dy for secret­ly believ­ing in God — what do you need it for, she’d say — she would have hat­ed know­ing he read the Bible in bed his final sum­mer, shov­ing it under his pil­low the instant he heard foot­steps. But when Jerry’s look told us to move, her mouth twitched and, grudg­ing­ly, she sur­ren­dered Daddy’s dying. We stepped aside so Jer­ry could sum­mon Daddy’s beloved fore­fa­thers, so he could enact what we believed was a solemn cleans­ing ritual.

It ran­kles.

Jer­ry exploit­ed our igno­rance, our grief. He inter­rupt­ed the flow of time, pre­vent­ed us from sus­tain­ing my father to the end. I don’t know his motive; I do know its effect. We left the room briefly and Dad­dy died in his arms. We missed his last moments, his final breath, the sacred, enor­mous end of his life.

My moth­er died with love and music. Her­bert and I sat by her bed, kissed her good­bye, said final words. I sang her favorite Yid­dish songs, sang and sang, till her final breath.

Miss­ing the moment of my father’s death bored a hole in me. It bleeds less, but it doesn’t close.

Changes, changes. The chapel is some­what lighter, sur­round­ed by blow­down. In the amphithe­ater state­ly columns sway and creak, devel­op­ing into a cathe­dral for­est. Crows sing in the distance.

I will sing kadish in the cathe­dral with the crow cho­rus — there, by that dead tree ringed with fierce black spikes. I sing to a decay­ing log, its shin­gled core becom­ing humus, and stop after the first line. Too much death.

The morn­ing clouds over.

Around the amphithe­ater long logs lie in rows like bleach­ers. I sit on one — I think it’s my old writ­ing log — maybe not, it looks too fresh.

The sun comes out, cast­ing leaf shad­ows on my notebook.

Green, green. Green lichen on wet bark, green moss and ferns, green leaves and nee­dles. Roots like giant toes — will the tree walk at night? The floor is still dense with ferns, but maples sprout in the open spaces — one seems to be grow­ing in the roots of a liv­ing spruce. The cathe­dral is beau­ti­ful, but the trail’s spir­i­tu­al home is still the chapel.

I bush­whack uphill into a gnarly glade dom­i­nat­ed by a huge fan of rust-col­ored branch­es, their curl­ing fronds bow­ing over a fall­en ever­green. Tall roots twine upward into an abstract sculp­ture of dancers. On the ground, two weath­ered branch­es form an oval eye, an inward-turn­ing eye that nev­er blinks. Peo­ple pass below. I look into the eye and sing kadish softly.

A gen­tle rain falls as I head home. On the White­head trail, in the spot where but­ter­flies con­gre­gat­ed last year, a drag­on­fly flits onto my sack. Slow­ly, care­ful­ly, I raise the sack. It’s a red drag­on­fly with black scal­lops along its abdomen. It flits to my arm and lingers there, its trans­par­ent, lace-veined wings sus­pend­ed in stillness.

Yid­dish spelling and translit­er­a­tion fol­low rules for­mu­lat­ed by the YIVO Insti­tute for Jew­ish Research and adopt­ed by the Library of Congress.


By Karen Wil­son Baptist

I dip my pad­dle into the magen­ta waters at sun fall, dis­turb­ing the ash­es of the dead. I know that they are here, I saw the words the loved ones wrote on flat dolomitic lime­stone and left on the beach where once he skipped stones. Ash­es to ash­es. I know that they are here, I was asked to leave the long pier over the sil­ver lake so that fam­i­ly could gath­er at the plat­form and com­mit the remains of their loved one to the waters. Dust to dust. I know that they are here, I saw the ros­es float to shore after Emma’s daugh­ter gift­ed her to the great lake. Emma was gone too soon, but now she is here, she is every­where, for she is in landscape.

Each year, on the day of her father’s death, Nor­ma Marder car­ries him to the for­est. I hold my father — walk and car­ry him whole, lift­ed up from wher­ev­er I buried him.” The dead are heavy, they bear down on the liv­ing; they cling to our flesh, they shang­hai our heart and leave in its stead a heavy, sharp, splin­ter of glass that stirs when­ev­er we detect their pres­ence. This is the bur­den of grief; indeed, the word grief is derived from the Latin verb gravare, mean­ing to bur­den and the Latin adjec­tive for heavy—gravis. To per­mit the dead to dwell with­in for too long is to risk descend­ing into dark­ness. This is why we bring the dead to land­scape, why we bury them, pay trib­ute on the road­side where they died, pour their incin­er­at­ed cre­mains into the rose gar­den, the riv­er, the field; this is why we release their mem­o­ry to water, to sky, to for­est. Earth to earth. Land­scape reminds us of the muta­bil­i­ty of grief. In win­ter, there is still­ness, in spring the awak­en­ing of the world is always aston­ish­ing. Each sea­son hosts birth and life, death and decay; the land­scape keeps faith with the dead and reminds us that we, the liv­ing, remain woven into the rhythm of the lifeworld.

In land­scape, the dead are shape shifters — they are present and muta­ble — dis­persed but in atten­dance. Land­scape beck­ons us to reimag­ine the dead as the flick­er of a but­ter­fly wing, as the return of the geese in spring, as the har­vest in the gar­den. Land­scape shoul­ders the weight of the dead, releas­ing the tight­ness in the tor­so, sooth­ing the sharp­ness of the splin­ter. And when the con­di­tions are right, at the moment that the ice is melt­ing just so, or the light fil­ter­ing through the grove evokes a holy place, an evo­ca­tion takes place and the dead stir rest­less­ly with­in in us, bear­ing down upon us once more until the moment flees and the land­scape takes up once more the bur­den of their caretaking.

I know this lake con­veys the ash­es of the dead. In the ebb and flow of the water, they are dust, astray and direc­tion­less. In Novem­ber, when the water turns to mer­cury, they will thick­en and remain still, frozen until the strong sun­light of spring on the vast frozen lake cleaves the dead into shards of ice and casts them adrift once more.


Nor­ma Marder is a writer based in Cham­paign, Illi­nois. Author of the futur­ist nov­el An Eye for Dark Places (Lit­tle, Brown), her sto­ries and per­son­al essays have appeared in The Get­tys­burg Review, The Geor­gia Review, and Lit­er­al Lat­té. Marder began writ­ing after a dis­tin­guished career as a singer of avant-garde music, spe­cial­iz­ing in impro­vi­sa­tion and extend­ed vocal tech­niques. In New York, she per­formed with the Jud­son Dance Work­shop, Fluxus, and Tone Roads, and in New York and Cham­paign-Urbana, she pre­miered and per­formed works by major con­tem­po­rary com­posers such as Charles Ives, John Cage, Ben John­ston, Mor­ton Feld­man, and Lejaren Hiller. With her hus­band, Her­bert, she found­ed the New Ver­bal Work­shop, a ver­bal impro­vi­sa­tion ensem­ble. For over forty years, Marder and her fam­i­ly spent sum­mers on Mon­hegan Island, Maine. Email: marder@​illinois.​edu

Karen Wil­son Bap­tist is Asso­ciate Dean of the Fac­ul­ty of Archi­tec­ture, Chair of the Envi­ron­men­tal Design Pro­gram, and Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor of Land­scape Archi­tec­ture at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Man­i­to­ba. After earn­ing BFA (with hon­ors) and MED degrees at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Man­i­to­ba, she com­plet­ed a Ph.D. in Land­scape Archi­tec­ture at the Edin­burgh Col­lege of Art, where her dis­ser­ta­tion focused on the rela­tion­ship between death, grief, and land­scape in memo­r­i­al set­tings, with spe­cial empha­sis on road­side sit­u­a­tions. Wil­son Baptist’s ongo­ing research focus­es on an expan­sive range of con­tem­po­rary memo­r­i­al con­texts — includ­ing ceme­ter­ies, (re)wilded topogra­phies, and post-agrar­i­an infra­struc­tur­al and indus­tri­al land­scapes — with an empha­sis on the nar­ra­tive char­ac­ter, poet­ic ecolo­gies, and mul­ti­ple trans­for­ma­tions of the Cana­di­an prairie. Her work has been pub­lished in a wide range of dis­ci­pline-spe­cif­ic and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary jour­nals, such as Land­scape Jour­nal; Land­scape Research Record; Emo­tion, Space and Soci­ety; and Mor­tal­i­ty. Email: Karen.​WilsonBaptist@​umanitoba.​ca