sheila nickerson   Along the Alaska Highway  
nickerson photo   The night the pigs disappeared from
Johnny Friend's corral at Watson Lake
there were no answers. What could climb
a fence as high as that and be so neat?
In all these years we have not learned.
More mysteries have crowded in,
deaths and other silences that make us think
of what must fill the space between the stars.
Now in the second quadrant,
in the year of solar storms,
night sky burns. You tell me how,
when you camped at Watson Lake,
you might have heard the Sasquatch.
The map of years says little--
a red line bending north,
you there, me here. These names--
Swift River, Jakes Corner, Destruction Bay--
are the only places. The true coordinates
are locked in blood. Tell me again the sound
you heard, tell me again the height
of Johnny Friend's corral at Watson Lake.

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Copyright © 1997 Sheila Nickerson.