a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
last summer made us weep.
The skunk cabbage told of this.
Our abnormalities, that odd number
do not make us see any better.
my father and I.
This year’s undertaking was planned
and implemented considering all
future climate scenarios we’ve fished with before.
But there is a clear message
as we fish for spring kings knowing
our winter was warmer, wetter,
and snow melt came faster and earlier.
Every morning, the snow level
on the Three Sisters, the mountain range
in view of our fishcamp,
Storm events scour stream beds,
rain flushes our homes.
At night we read charts
showing a sea-level rise,
and I dream of enough oxygen
to fill our gills with a cold water refugia,
and nearshore where we once stood
wrapped in a food web, salmon hearts
still pulse in our hands.
Vivian Faith Prescott was born and raised on a small island in Southeastern Alaska and lives at her fishcamp in Wrangell, Alaska. She is currently writing about climate change and researching the effects of climate change on Alaska’s salmon. She holds an MA in Cross Cultural Studies, an MFA from the University of Alaska, and a Ph.D. in Cross Cultural Studies (UA Fairbanks). Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Yellow Medicine Review and elsewhere. She is the author of a full length poetry collection, The Hide of My Tongue, and four poetry chapbooks, in addition to a short story collection, The Dead Go to Seattle (Boreal Books/Red Hen Press). She is a recipient of the Alaska Literary Award and a Rasmuson Fellowship. Twitter: planet_alaska and poet_tweet