Writing the Distance: Susi Gregg Fowler

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, Susi Gregg Fowler provides us with a

poem and photograph.

While Social Distancing

I stepped into these woods,
thinking to enter silence.
But with my thoughts muted,
I tuned to other frequencies.
There—the shushing of trees,
branches brushing against
branches. A chickadee
rustling into flight.
There–a varied thrush trilling,
and then another, and
a winter wren’s song
sweetening the air.
There–¬¬the sound of my own breathing,
the crunch of ice and dirt underfoot.

The silvered sky dims
to shadowed dusk.
Even ice softens, you know.
A drip. A trickle.
Even I, poised on terror’s rim,
can melt enough,
soften enough,
to make a little room
for bliss.


Susi Gregg Fowler grew up in Juneau and suspects there’s moss and saltwater in her blood.

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