A beaded leather-gloved author,
cannery worker, First Nation’s matriarch,
and her fencer, philosopher husband,
arm in arm, approach the hotel entrance.
Rain peppers them. In their wake,
legions of transcriptions waded,
labyrinths of translations resiliently charted,
a lifetime of Native language cradled
into groundwork for generations to follow.
I offer access, open glass doors,
unable to muster up a provocative couplet,
a classical illusion, a Tlingit greeting,
only, “Good evening!” Both acknowledge.
The Alaskan poet laureates step into the warm foyer.
• Jack Campbell lives in Excursion Inlet. His second book of poetry, “The Outhouse Spider: New and Selected Poems,” is currently in publication.
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