Writing the Distance: Katherine Wood

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, Katherine Wood provides a poem and photograph.

The Kingdom of Birds

Today, from my hermetically sealed SUV stoppped on red
I watched three ravens riding the wind.

Colonizing one corner near the Legislative offices
They dove and floated
One tired, and sat resplendent in the early morning haze.
As the others jockeyed
and hovered
and rested in the air.
With the skill and grace of an acrobat,
The nonchalance of pro-ball players,
Where every move feels like an afterthought

They do not know the words
That echo and eke their way into our every neural connection.

Perhaps they notice the cars gone missing
empty lots
lights gone out
Perhaps they hear the technic silence,
The heart cries of thousands, the gasps in the night.

Like ancient, cruel Kings and Queens of yore
They rise above
In the cool, clear certainty of wind.

Katherine is an intinerant voyager to the world of creative writing, spending most of her time writing for business at an engineering firm. This year will mark her 20th in Alaska, after a successful flight from suburbia in the lower 48.

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