Breakup in Alaska

They call it “breakup” when —

The earth begins to warm

And the trees shed their winter coats

Spreading their prickled fingers

And stretching like a cat to meet the sun

That has spent so many months in hibernation —

Spring is breaking up with winter.


In winter, no one can bury their dead

The ground resists their spades

So patient, they must wait

Until breakup.


The snow melts in breakup

Mounds of fragile ice flake,

Shearing from cliff faces

And into streets

Collapsing into brown puddles

No one mourns their passing

Breakup means spring.


They found her body one breakup

Discarded last December

She went missing around Christmas

But it wasn’t until April

That the ice heaved and sloughed away to reveal

Her, still frozen,

Under a pyre, saturated with wet snow.


It was a bad breakup

And like every story in Alaska,

“alcohol may have been a factor.”

They left the bar arguing,

She threatened to break up with him

Of course, she didn’t follow through.

But he made sure, this time, there was a breakup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *