• eganscim

Peary


Peary


Always the dream to be level with the sun,

To strain the limits of the inner man

In the push for the last latitude.


In the museum the artifacts speak the man

As still with readiness they wait;

The sextant's arc is poised for measuring,

Its lens shadows the image of a polar horizon.


Looking supple and protective

The Intuit suit stands with its ghost

Hovering in the faceless fur hood,

While the square-boxed stove looks

Ready to civilize some snow for tea.


Stamped with mission and grace

The still-shining mugs and spoons

Make it easy to forget the stench

Of the huskies holed up with the men

That winter on the Roosevelt.


Behind the glass and improvised glacier

One surviving sledge spreads its runners

Conjuring up the spirit of the wind-whipped

Figure standing on frostbitten feet,

Driving the lead dog pack running

To the whip's whistle in the crackling cold.


Five hundred icebound miles later

The eyes peer from the photograph,

Ten years added in the rush to the pole;

Exhausted and drawn the face belies

The diary's triumphant entry,

"Mine at last!"



Portraits and Landscapes

Sister Phyllis Doyle, RSM

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