Writing the Distance: Beatrice Franklin

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. Today, Beatrice Franklin provides a poem and photograph.


Forested country road
unfurls like lumpy carpet.
Mist obscuring distance.
Hilly stretches, penance.

Occasional dogs ignoring
social distancing, seek my
fingers. Owners retreat.
Red-tailed squirrel nibbles

spruce cone on sunny rock,
lets me in close. I continue
to look for offerings while
sheltering on my walks.

Grateful for cadence of
footfalls, gentle taps on tarmac,
keeping time to nothing,
blanketing thought. I drink

fistfuls of cold air, unrationed,
uncontaminated, unbestowed
on the sick lying in plastic bubbles,
clutching sheets. Alone.


Beatrice Franklin lives and writes in Juneau.

Scroll to Top