auksalaq

[auksalaq: Inuit for melting snow]

We had trudged across
the mile of unbroken sitliq*
between our cluster of tents
beside the frozen lake and
the drill sites on the high ridge
every day for several weeks.
Nights were mystical bright
sunlit reveries to the
insistent howl of the drills.

We were bundled in heavy parkas
and wore dark green goggles
to cut down on the snow glare
from the low sun that slung
around the horizon all day
dipping out of sight
for an hour at midnight.
Most of us improvised
handkerchiefs tucked under
the goggles to protect our
blistered red noses and cheeks
from both wind and sun.

One day we were awakened
in our tent by
the roar of water very nearby.
We rushed outside to see
our back guyline loose
washed away by a torrent of blue water
the edge of it just inches from canvas.

On the way to the job that day
we sank up to our hips in auksalaq
where just a day before
we had walked securely on sitliq.
At the foot of the ridge we found
a virtually bottomless deep crevasse
that required a half-mile detour.

[*sitliq: Inuit for hard crusty snow]

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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