Arctic summer by Erin Conway-Smith

This was a long time ago now. I don’t remember whose

idea it was but we were flying north, very north. I didn’t

think closely at that time in my life. I’ve never been so

north since. The sky and the sound were milky all day

and all night. We left our tent and walked in the wind,

out onto the land. I spotted a hare in summer brown.

A cairn for two who were blown out to sea. Tiniest flowers,

and a caribou jaw, land-bleached.

The world was rounding, smooth at the edges, even once

I’d lost a glove. Things loop around most times,

they don’t just cut. I still wear a soft shirt

that was zipped into the tent that blew into the sound

that day we walked in the wind. The tent floated

for weeks until found. I’m far from that time now. We too

were blown out, or started to be. Kept going somehow.

Our things air-dried on the tundra, then put in a box

and shipped south.

Erin ConwaySmith was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her poems have appeared in The Malahat Review, PRISM international, Ons Klyntji and (forthcoming) Best Canadian Poetry 2024. As a journalist, Erin has reported for The Economist, The Times (UK), The Globe and Mail and other publications.