She never travels to where Polaris
augers his flag and claims all around it
for the King of Winter. Nor will she visit
where horses pull the wind.
Her warm airs annoy the mean temperatures.
She travels from the middle of somewhere and back
spreading between degrees of mercury and latitude.
In Barrow, doors open no wider than a trash bag.
The garbage still freezes hard. The caribou warm
within the whisper of the pipeline.
Closer to home, the granite knuckles of my ancestors
protrude from beneath the snow. I feel her in my finger tips.
I hear her hum and crack the lake like taffy.
Periscopes of crocus rise and mark
the bearings of her ship steaming north.
Her unusual journey begins in the middle
and ends where she turns, slapping her pockets
as if noticing forgotten keys
to retrace her obvious steps.
©R. Jeffrey Roberts
Her Unusual Journey originally appeared in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune