Sunday, August 28, 2011


The hunter wakes up
Knowing what season it is
Whether to net ptarmigans
With a breath and a single stroke
As they fly north for summer
Or spear seals
As they come up to breathe
Though nowadays using a rifle
Behind a white blind
Or cutting up narwhales lost in the bay
The days of trudging
Pushes sledges
Are long gone
Outboard motors and rifles
Speed him on his way
To great family feasts
Of birds fermented in a sealskin bag
Or else boiled whole feathers and all
Divine heady stew
Fresh whale meat sweeter than any fruit
Steaks of caribou or musk ox
But sometimes sleep doesn’t come
When he reflects how warm
The days have become
Or how poorly his pelts sell
Barely enough to support
The wife and children
Who will not follow
In the footsteps he has followed
In a line unbroken for millennia
But be lost in the whiteout
Of the outside world

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