sidebar
Logo Top Banner
Home
slogan Alaska Timeline Alaska Kids About
Peer Work
Family & Community
History & Culture
Digital Archives
Narrative & Healing
Reading & Writing
Libraries & Booksellers
Teaching & Learning
Contact Us

  
Search Peer Work Only
Sign up for newsletter
  
Find us on Facebook
   ENews
   April 2011 E-News
March 2011 E-News
January 2011 E-News
September 2010 E-News
May 2010 E-News
March 2010 E-News
January 2010 E-News
November 2009 E-News
September 2009 E-News


Home  >  Peer Work
Caribou
By Susanna Mishler
Genre: Poetry Level: Adult
Year: 2001 Category: UAA/ADN Creative Writing Contest

for Maren

It was like forgiveness
when the caribou ran
toward us in the summer dusk, all
their bodies like one body,
a bead of liquid mercury flowing
down the green alpine valley.

We knelt on the damp tundra and
they turned suddenly away from
us, lunged up a snowfield, spilled into
another valley, leaving tufts
of hair, tracks, fresh droppings
burning into the snow.

I wonder now what it would have been like
if they hadn't turned, if they had surged
around us like a river around two stones.
I imagine us plunged into their gusting
breath and musky animal smell, I imagine

the galloping tremble of caribou hoofbeats
sounding in the earth under my knees
and that I extended an arm
to brush coarse flank hair with
my fingertips, and I imagine

that I really was a stone
washed in river water,
my color suddenly
brighter and deeper than
before my submersion.

The mountain silence mends itself.
I am still kneeling with you there
in that possibility, like
two stones on the soggy tundra,
our surfaces wet with deliverance.



sidebar
  Contact Us       LitSite Alaska, Copyright © 2000 - 2014. All rights reserved. University of Alaska Anchorage.
University of Alaska Anchorage