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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 2, June 2012

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Gerry Jacobson
Canberra, Capital Territory, Australia


Gloves On

Crossing the plateau in the sunset, woollen gloves on the poles. Where was I going? Was it misty? Squish of snow and the freedom of langlauf, long-loafing, long-loping. Alone, that stride, that glide! Smell of the snow, frigid. Smell of zinc cream on my face. Did I pause on the edge, look out into misty valleys?

climbing
above raven's caw . . .
just the fog . . .
the chatter of mind
beat of my heart

Canvas gloves on a string. Hillary and Mallory wore them in old photos. So did I. Starting before dawn, fumbling, head torches. Crunch of crampons, clunk of scree, relief of rock. In the belly—anticipation, yearning! Moving slowly upwards towards sunrise, goggles, taste of mint cake. Who was I with? Who else remembers?

bitter wind
from the northwest
cloud shadows
pass over the ranges—
my seventieth year


Note: The tanka 'bitter wind' was first published in Magnapoets 9 (2012).

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