• Dave Weir

Pride Flew


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


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


heavy on my shoulders

ice pans crashing and groaning


violence in the currents

i remembered, 


laughing with you

guiding with you

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

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



in Alexandra Fiord

i flew your flag

and now your flag


your flag has become mine

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