• Merna Lomack Wharton
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Here I am travelling alone

           Here I am stepping

           up into passenger plane          with mail in the back with letters

                        jet fuel and odour, gagging for clean air

My eyes filled with tears,
           I see with my glass eyes

the wetland and lakes full of fish, uncut for dried fish to eat


Come with me to a journey
           where city is made from crushed rocks

                                  prone to earth moving underneath

My friend Sleeping Lady across the wide river

           I’ve entered the Dena’ina land before on a stretcher at 5.
This place with a military asbestos chemical painted walls—it was like a zoo with a medical

chart. No colours on the walls, Alaskan art pieces coming and going through the door made

with nature

           hands full of money—mine goes to unpaid bills!
                      There were other village kids, hair like mine in white gowns

                                 the summer with no rain

no tear stains to leave the plastic covered pillow

dropping crayons and little metal cars from the hospital pediatrics triage,

           window that faces the wide river

hot summer days melt the crayons on the window sill

                      A young boy died in a wheelchair while I pushed his wheels in the hallway!


I am alone again with crayons in my hand and a blazing orange truck to ride around this town.

           Here I am traveling alone again, stepping up and still

                      the crayons melting under the sun.