Spring in Kotzebue

It starts with bright yellow

garbage bags blooming in the back

of a dusty black 4 x 4 pick-up truck,

glares at us

until we put on sunglasses to keep from burning

our winter eyes.

 

We born of the old ways start to sleep

until the sun fades in late afternoon.

We dream of blueberries.

We stay up late, drinking beer,

watching the ice rise, waiting.

 

When the river runs again,

the white woman will paddle back to her cabin.

Lying alone in her wool underwear,

in her goose-feather sleeping bag,

she’ll shiver,

dreaming of the lost white boy

with the ponytail

and the big hands.

 

Me and my friends, we’ll line up

to work construction

over at the site for that new hotel.

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