I felt the pull of the earth
in that grey expansive landscape
and it knocked me down
flooded me
tore at my heart
pressuring the delicately arranged chemicals and fluids
maintained in saner climates
disrupted body rhythms
and blew away all that was gratuitous
bringing me to my knees
leaving me breathless in that icicle air
showing me the delicacy of my structure--
that I was not the romanticized north-wandering waif
in tune with the forces
roaming the hinterlands on a mythical white bear--
but a fragile system that can be undone
by a chill wind
a steep step
or the silence of her children

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