Writing the Distance: Katie Bausler

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. Katie Bausler provides today’s offering.

On the sunny, brisk first day of Spring, the week the pandemic stopped almost everything, I rode my bike to work. The backway to Glacier Highway sneaks up on Harborview Elementary School. No charged-up children running to the playground. No doting parents rushing to work. No devoted teachers readying classrooms for the school day. Occupying the corner between the playground and the road are bright colors of childhoods’ past-racks of jackets, scarves and hats overflowing plastic tubs. A hasty sign slapped on the racks. LOST AND FOUND. Spring is the time for planting seeds in classroom windows, day long field trips to the beach, looking forward to the last day of school. But here I am, straddling my bike, heart struck by the exiled Lost and Found. I steady myself on the bicycle seat, ride along the near empty glacier highway, save for one other cyclist in the opposite direction. I want to exchange her first day of spring radiance. But can’t manage a smile for my tears.

Katie Bausler is a Juneau writer who serves on the board of 49 Writers and produces and hosts the 49 Writers podcast series, Active Voice.
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