Writing the Distance: Jamie Lynn Buehner

The Covid 19 pandemic is isolating Alaskan writers. We can no longer attend workshops or public readings. The coffee bars where we met with other writers are closed. To bridge these physical gaps, 49 Writers is providing this on-line forum for Alaskans writing the distance. Jamie Lynn Buehner  provides today’s poem and photograph.

Personal Day

Waking to sun, I pack my son and my daughter
into the car we sometimes do not drive for a week
but which had gotten dusty the night before at a friend’s
surprise drive-by birthday parade. After the carwash I buy
them a chocolate muffin and myself a coffee, and drive to Point
Louisa to pick bouquets of dandelions, the thing to do these days.
My daughter said “There’s no one here” but there were a few people,
and one of them said there was nowhere else she would rather be.

My son fell asleep on the way home
so I carried him up the stairs to his bed
and then climbed into our new inflatable
pool with my daughter, reading my book
while she splashed and played.

As the sun left our backyard, her brother woke up
and the three of us followed it down to the beach.
While leaving, two friends talking took the time
to tell me my kids were beautiful,
and both kids and both friends
waved goodbye.


Jamie Lynn Buehner works as a committee secretary for the Alaska State Legislature and is the author of Catalpa (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016, available at Kindred Post in downtown Juneau). She lives on the edge of the Tongass National Forest in Douglas with her husband, two kids, and two cats.

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