Writing the Distance: Pamela Cravez

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. Pamela Cravez provides today’s poem and photograph.

Slow and Fast

Evie is holding a ball and blurry
I am in a little square
Pushing close to Glenn so that
Maybe she can see us both.

I talk about trails that are drying and
Houses for sale. The buds on the trees and
Long sunny days. Evie’s hand moves
Toward us, her fingers pudgy and pink.
Her father’s arm across her chest draws her back.

Eight months ago, red and tiny, I shielded her
From the sun with a blanket wrapped round.
Felt the sweat collect as she slept and her parents went to the gym.

Eating yogurt with a grimace, giggling
When her mother pulls the blanket over her head
She squiggles out. The parks are full,
my son says, businesses still closed in Connecticut
Evie is sleeping through the night.

Six months ago she fussed and cried on my shoulder
I carried her outside, acorns underfoot,
The wind through the trees shushing her.

Can she see me? I ask as she lunges
Into the screen, then falls back onto her dad
Laughing into his neck, a game they play.
Are we part of her game?

Three months ago I held her
Wrapped in a towel after a bath in the kitchen sink
Smelling soft and fresh.

My week is slow, a trip to the store, a
hike down Turnagain Arm trail. Evie
picks up a cracker and holds it between her
Thumb and forefinger, then to her mouth.
My smile aches, I know how fast this goes.

We’ll see you soon, we said in February
The distance between Alaska and Connecticut so much closer
Back then.


Pamela Cravez is a writer living in Anchorage and author of  The Biggest Damned Hat, Tales from Alaska’s Territorial Lawyers and Judges.

7 thoughts on “Writing the Distance: Pamela Cravez”

  1. Leslie Hiebert

    Thanks Pam, you know that hard social contract you have to make. A screen just doesn’t cut it!!

  2. Pamela R Montgomery

    Beautiful. Says what so many of us are feeling. Grateful to have the video technology but still my heart aches to see my children and grandchildren in person. The photo of little Evie is precious.

  3. Thanks Pam. I’m doing the same with three grandchildren, with 2 babies born in the past 8 months. I’m trying to keep my spirits up after having to cancel my trip to Juneau in March to meet my newborn grandson. In the past week I got a big boost when Gabe and Krysta brought 7 month old Ruth over for time in the sun on the deck. Thank goodness for warm sunny days! It had been over 6 weeks since we had an in person visit. While there will be no hugs, or chances for the sweet smells of baby, being together, even at a distance is wonderful.

  4. Beautifully said!! Congrats on your grandkid!
    How lovely that you got to spend time with Evie before COVID19 turned our world upside down!

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