fjölskyldur •

Teeth bare.

After all these years, the uphill climb
still forces blood into dormant veins,
Wind and feather-flurry
into crevices and eyelids.

I don’t even realize when we arrive;
suddenly, we’re standing
amongst familiar snowflakes.
The family splits; some search for firewood.

We unpack our loads from the sleds.

The burrs of winter
emboss our journeyed coats,
childhood memories,
and the pack’s sleepy snouts.

Gusts of wind rush by in a frigid hurry,
The dipping sun glows

It’s a task to bring everything in,
and heavy grunts politely knock on the silence
of coming home.

Faces flushed and tired, we troop inside
to the old fireplace, threadbare cushions,
and laughter.
The others will be back soon.

Alex stays back to tie up the dogs.
Her eyes clutch the midnight morn
one last time before sunset,
and theirs close, curling tight
into warmth and hunger.
Collecting empty water bowls,
she smiles
and trudges toward.

The living room awakens to the living within;
wet gloves are pulled off
and thrown into a corner.
Smiling at Ragnar’s jokes, I glance at our family
through the window.

As always, they look content, calm,
Fur rustling,
all asleep but Casper: glass-blue eyes blazing
yet vacant with boredom.
He watches for the others
who return soon.

Fresh logs crackle, Carla hums Mama’s song
as she cooks.

We eat.

Note: fjölskyldur means “families” in Icelandic.

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