INUKSHUK

You were built from the stones,
they say, positioned
alone against the sky
here so they might take
you for something human

checking the migrations.
That's how you manage this,
standing upright despite
the blue wind that snow is
this close to Polaris.

Still, the wind worries
you some. It's your niches
that ought to be empty.
Nothing but lichen grows
there usually. Now

they're home to dreams. Most come
from the south, a few from
further north
out of their mouths comes from
no direction you know.

They keep singing about
the Great Blue Whale the world
is; how it swims through space
having nightmares about
hunters who only hunt

their brothers
the other's snow-white face.
How beautiful frozen
flesh is! Like ivory,
like carved bone, like the lights

of Polaris in hand.
So it goes on and one,
the hunting refrain. Dead
silence would be better,
the Pole Star overhead.

The wind agrees, at least
wants to stop up each niche.
How long can you stand it

that no longer hold you

up now that they hold you
down? Soon the migrations
recommence. How steady
are you? Dreams, so they say,
also sing on the wing.