Friday, May 04, 2007

401. The Lindberghs Land At Point Barrow - Jane Flanders

(after Anne Morrow Lindbergh)

"Dit-dah-dah-dit; dah-dah-dah . . ."
In foggy half-light we cling
To the cry of an impossible bird;
Someone tapping a slender key
Makes us believe in Point Barrow.
He says we must not mistake
That staggered cliff of ice for
Houses. Watch for red roofs.

"Dit-dah-dah . . ." In stunted speech
I plead for the weather. We are flying
Blind through Arctic vapors, answering
His shrill song with the engine's buzz,
Nosing over the tundra like an exotic
Bee tuned to the flower.

"Dit-dah-dit-dit . . . Low fog bank lifting
Off ice cap." The word we waited for.
The ice gives off its own gray light
As we search for the lagoon.
For the red roofs and the tower,
For the rare men who preceded us here.

We have emerged to crowds before, but never
Into such silence. Staunchly as
Animals, alien, fur-bearing,
They watch us come, draw back and
Greet us with a strange "yah-yah."
They've kept Thanksgiving dinner warm ––
Reindeer and snow goose.

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