Writing the Distance: Cindy Hardy

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. Cindy Hardy provides today’s poem and photograph.


Among false reports,
a friend declares the ice
has gone out at Nenana.

We didn’t take our usual walk
this year, skittering across yard-
deep river ice to the tripod, the dog

balking at the edge of snow
to gaze over the rim of the solid
world into the clear depths

at his toenails. We slide along
in clunky boots, hands outstretched,
for balance, calling him: “Come!”

He looks at us, flops his ears
in wonder at our folly, edges
one foot out on the illusion

slick beneath him, trembles,
barks and barks, and stays
behind. We stop by the painted

poles, jump on the ice and shout–
but not this year. Still, in abundance
of hope, we write some dates

in May on paper and mail them in.
Snow drips from our roof. Chunks
slide down and crash. We wait.

Cindy Hardy lives and writes and waits for the gardening season in Fairbanks. Her collection, Beneath a Portrait of a Horse, is available from Salmon Poetry, Ireland.

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