Walking the Glacier ~ Katharine Coles


Even here, breaking surface

One hard step at a time, so much of what I do


Is plodding along, forgetting it’s easy

To keep sounding myself.  Do I


Forget what I’m saying?  Distracted,

My brain mutters something about


An old injury it hangs onto, not even

Meant for me.  I hear there’s training


For this too.  Meanwhile, I find myself

Surprised to be unzipping under


Such a wind, how hard my body becomes

To carry.  They let me


Come up all alone, the whole

Place to myself.  Not afraid it seems


To lose me.  Sink, flail and pull back

Out, sink again.  The view,


Will it dazzle?  I can’t see the edge

Where ice bears itself away


Continually, just under my feet

The raft that carries me over invisibly


Splitting.  If I forget myself, I could

Become spectacular.  Could throw 


Myself, whole hearted, into something

Or off.   Stop.   Look.   Blaze


And shadow.  So blue

My stars falling away.


Palmer Station, Antarctica