~This poem was previously published in Explorations (1992).
~Selected by Clara Jane Hallar, Assistant Editor for Poetry
Winter die back comes early to this tourist town.
The east coast sleaze boys left after the last tour boat,
taking their cardboard boxes of cheap furs
and the money of visitors who believed that Loring
is an igloo village.
Forty percent off sales and moonlight madness pass like
Chinook winds over the downtown stubble fields.
Curios still need dusting, don’t you know.
Some folks ride out the season south of the Tropic of Cancer.
Five Star and the Potlatch stay open
to give comfort to Thomas Basin.
Our pale teens prefer Mickey D.
June of June’s Café stays but won’t thaw out any meat.
Last fall they gutted Charlie’s for another curio shop.
Last fall I cared.
I walk on past the Arctic Bar to drink espresso
and watch the sea lions hammer herring near Ryus Float.
Soon the black cod fleet will off load at Silver Lining while
eagles watch perched in the trees along White Cliff Street.
I’ll have a double,
The first Princes boat isn’t due ‘till May.