Thursday, August 11, 2011


An Invitation

Jimmy is frying something weird on the stove
Well, I imagine him to be frying something weird
I’ve never been invited to his home
The rumor is
They are ashamed --
Old couch, stained carpet,
A bucket for a bathroom,
Seven children and two bedrooms,
An invitation:
Come and sit,
Have some coffee, and
Oh, I just fried some walrus,
Please try some.
That’d never happen.
So I ask his daughter:
Please, can I have some polar bear?
Before I leave, I have to have polar bear.
She says: I’ll go ask my dad.
So she goes and asks Jimmy,
And she comes to class,
With her right hand
She gives me a big bowl of bear meat,
(I heard the shots that took its life)
With her left hand
She hands me a framed newspaper article,
Glowing, she tells me:
“My dad was in the paper
When he was 18…
Killed the biggest bear ever.”
I smile, and think:
This is an invitation –
To share what she has.

Monday, August 1, 2011

from Diomede to Annapolis

One year ago, I was preparing to move to Diomede, Alaska.  I have been missing Alaska lately, as some of my friends are headed back to the Great North for another year. I miss it. I miss the pure white tundra. I miss flying in between mountains and over ice floes. I miss the sheer cliffs of Diomede. I miss the birds that were louder than the waves. I miss looking out across the Bering Strait at Big Diomede, wondering about the Russians who were staring back at me (presumably). I miss my little apartment, with all of its quirks -- its sinking floor, the sloping oven, the snow in the back closet, the wood paneling, and the webcam in my living room that would move and shift with its mechanical noises as people eyed the Diomede islands through the Internet. I miss seeing kids play on the heliopad. I miss chopper day. I miss watching movies with my roommate. I miss the house shaking because of the wind. I miss the walruses and the polar bears, the whales, the crabs and all of the amazing wildlife that writhed in its home. It will continue to be so, even if I am not there.