NaPoWriMo #23 – The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1916

I wish I felt grief more keenly,
like The Endurance trapped in ice
on a journey to the centre of nothing,
a whiteness, Shackleton, that unchecked,
will consume you. This crew knows hunger
as sudden and unexpected loss, oatmeal biscuit
crumbs dissolved under tongue in spite of all
this good fortune, or child loss, or waves,
by God, fourteen feet high as I remember them.

I read those obituaries as an exercise,
looked for the sharp recognition of love,
income tax, home ownership, instead admired
all those lovely words, all those lovely
moments, all those incredible feats
of humanity, sailing their James Caird’s
outward, in search of rescue.


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