Slipping by Gerry Stewart

We break through the snow and firn
to the glacial ice below:
introduce ourselves,
ask our children’s names and ages.
I answer the ubiquitous questions:
where I’m from,
how long our family is staying.

Then the expanse,
dry tundra silence.

I attempt to navigate
the crevasses,
fill them with the mundane titbits
we all share,
but my unexercised voice
unfoots me.

My loneliness bubbles up,
the ice sizzle,
adrenaline-fired,
cracking,
echoing.

Words arc across the divide
and disappear,
unwarmed,
sliding me further away.

***

Gerry Stewart is a poet, creative writing tutor and editor based in Finland. Her poetry collection Post-Holiday Blues was published by Flambard Press, UK. Her writing blog can be found at http:/thistlewren.blogspot.fi/

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