Writing the Distance: Dave Kiffer

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. Ketchikan’s Dave Kiffer provides today’s poem and photograph.

Your steps should only echo
In the early morning hours,
And not even then. because
There are sirens, the hum of
cab engines and the restless
of a hundred negotiations
So, this mid-day reflection
On the empty storefronts
Feels false, Like January sun
Through a living room window
Or a February robin who is
Not early, but lost
The collective heart beat
Has slowed in hibernation, We 
only hope it is not flatline, Simply a pause, a restful one Based on ten thousand souls, Each one holding its breath

David Kiffer is a fourth generation Ketchikan resident, teacher, writer, musician and former Borough Mayor.
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