Anchorage (a love letter to home)

(with apologies to Carl Sandburg)

You were once the crossroads of East and West
Keeper of the gateway between new and old
Off in the corner, yet noticed when needed
At the edge of forever by our own fingernails.

I knew no differently: you were me and I was you
And together in the snow we found our place in the world
While the rest of them twisted and burned in roiling water
We simply crunched past on our frozen, quiet way.

They say you are cold and I know this
Your pitch black mornings let me stay under the blankets
Or to contemplate the day’s start - still so far off - in a quiet kitchen
They tell me you are dark, and I nod and smile
The miserly light that you offer drives me out into the snow
To risk fingers and toes before returning to the fire
They wag that you are lonely, and I agree
We are made from your expanse, meant to return
And being lost amid your empty whiteness makes us thankful

Each time away grows longer and farther
A remembered breath, misty and faint in the air,
Grown whispier in my warmer, later, lighter days
Than when it came frozen from my reddish cheeks.

Each time I’ve returned you’ve become more like them
Trying to belong
And not nearly so cold. Just like me.

We have aged.

But there are times when we can go back
To wake up in darkness, laugh in twilight
And crunch on past through the cold and quiet
While they writhe and squirm and ask for help.

I’ve arrived in search of your comforting clutch
And to hear your heart beat beneath the snow.


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