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  • Dave Weir

Pride Flew



Len,


on the day you died

i flew your flag


at seventy nine degrees

North latitude


before the pack ice and glaciers

Arctic Terns dove and fed


above the walls

of our northernmost RCMP post

in a crisp north wind


Len,


Pride flew


____________________________________



i remember,


in your living room

a few weeks before

we spoke of your flag


i remember,


your words


“Dave, this isn’t about being gay,

or transgender,

this is about everyone,

about diversity”



____________________________________



a week after you died


and a little further north


i sat atop the bare rock 


of Loon Island


i led my group here


and then,


then we waited, 


cornered by an East wind and the heavy ice it drove


unable to advance, unable to retreat


our kayaks tethered and idle


the airstrip we sought,


still 30 kilometres away

through the day and night i sat


watching for an opening 


in the swirling ice


responsibility, 


heavy on my shoulders


ice pans crashing and groaning


watching


violence in the currents

i remembered, 


talking, 


laughing with you


guiding with you
s

haring responsibilities


in the decades gone by

at 4 am


i thought there might be an opening


a gamble


a long

shot in the ice, 


eight lives in my hands


heart in my throat


i woke my group
“get up, we’re going,


we need to move fast”

packing my gear


i looked up 
an Arctic Fox stood there


not ten feet from me


velvety brown fur and gold yellow eyes


patiently 
it watched me

and calm returned


_________________________________________


i remember,

when i left your hospital room

i said to you


“I will look for you in the Arctic”


i think i found you

or maybe


you found me


___________________________________________


Len,


in Alexandra Fiord

i flew your flag


and now your flag


Len,


your flag has become mine


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