Something I Wrote Earlier

Disappearing Ice

This is not our ice.
This is not our weather.

Our circle is contaminated

Today we drink soot,
eat meat needled with toxins.

In my dreams, the ice is thick
again and clean.

This morning, we found the headless
body of a seal, drifting in the shallows.

My small son stuck his head
into the gaping wound.

The insides are missing,
he shouted. Hungry walruses
sucked them away I told him.

He came to me, wrapped his arms
around my neck. I kissed the stinking
skin on his forehead.

The drums, dances and stories
which held the ice together,
have fallen silent.

The waves are changing shape.

I can no longer draw a map from memory,
because the land changes faster
than I can blink.

At night the ocean screams.

We sit in our house at night listening,
afraid to fall asleep.

The Arctic is a battleground,
the aroma of oil and chemicals
makes my young ones ill.

I came face to face with a polar bear,
as the last light thumbed its way
across the land.

I could smell his rotting teeth.
He lay down before me and died.

I didn’t take anything from him.
My knife would have brought
more poison to the surface

I left him there, rocking gently
on shifting ice, black water
licking at his nose.


4 thoughts on “Something I Wrote Earlier

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