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Polar Bear

Her glassy muzzle beats back the salt squall to be here.
She who in her time swallowed seal cub after seal cub,
sets out from Iqaluit, sprints the Arctic platform
from leeward ridge to longing, dividing sea from tundra.
When pack-ice grows too thin, fishermen catch her
like a ghost in the trawl. She rakes the beaten threshold
of their stern, her mouth open, sniffing the scent of human
which is also the scent of loss, all coppery across her tongue.
It is her or them on the open water. They push her with shovels
into the boat’s wake where she floats for a time, a waning moon
pale above the slate black deep.



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