So This Is Starrigavin by Kersten Christianson

The ocean on the western side,

estuary to the east.  Paved road

meanders across the bridge, like

a grandfather with an old story


to unpack. A walking path flanks

the road, gathers broken bits

of mussel shells, deer vertebrae,

alder cones.  Because it is spring,


green spruce pollen marks pavement

in galactic splatters.  Beard lichen

drapes above your head, whispy

to your fingertips when you stretch.


There are crows, ravens, & kingfishers.

Great blue herons fish the tidal zone

shallows, their beady eyes intent, hunting

darting salmon fry at their feet.


So this is Starrigavin. An afternoon walk

with a bag of oyster crackers in your hand

to feed inquisitive corvidae.  You push

into the wind, it lifts your hair to join


fluttering beard moss and you swear,

you swear you could lift your arms,

transformed wings, join the feathered,

and fly.

Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, Alaskan. When not exploring the summer lands and dark winter of the Yukon, she lives in Sitka, Alaska. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing (University of Alaska Anchorage) and recently published her first collection of poetry Something Yet to Be Named (Aldrich Press, 2017).  Kersten is the poetry editor of the quarterly journal, Alaska Women Speak


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