You’ll know the house by its purple doors,
built in the style of a modified saltbox.
Wind chimes dangle from rusted nails,
tattered prayers tied in the hemlocks.
Come to the always-
open front door
breathe in the brine of the low tide air,
the view of Guide Island, the bipolar sea.
Step over the threshold; this is the heart,
the heart of my home: desk cluttered
with runaway glass beads, rubber
and ink, my three favorite pens.
There are soft copies of Winter News,
Songs of the Pine Wife, rough
draft tanka, candle nubs.
This house offered retreat from jobs in the Arctic.
Two years we slept on the inflatable mattress, sat on the floor,
played Scrabble to bottles of Wild Horse and aged cheddar.
Baby in the sun on this floor, eyes shut
tight against sun, snow, and gale.
Robins among the blades of wild iris.
Salmon heads drop from the sky in summer;
entrails in beak, eagles flapping by the window.
Brown bears stalking the trail behind our house,
their cubs trickling down the hill, rainwater
from the corner down spout.
are fishermen, alcoholics;
they tend wild plots of fireweed.
They are routine in their inconsistencies.
Come for a visit, here
where the humpbacks breach, here
between Vitskari Rocks and Kruzof Island.
Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, high school English-teaching Alaskan. Currently she is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry through University of Alaska Anchorage. Her poetry has appeared in Cirque, Tidal Echoes, Alaska Women Speak, and We’Moon.