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Kersten Christianson

Kersten Christianson is a poet and English teacher from Sitka, Alaska. She is the author of Curating the House of Nostalgia (Sheila-Na-Gig, 2020), What Caught Raven’s Eye (Petroglyph Press, 2018), and Something Yet to Be Named (Kelsay Books, 2017). She is also the poetry editor for Alaska Women Speak. Kersten enjoys road trips, bookstores, and smooth ink pens.
Buy her book from Sheila-Na-Gig Editions


Sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. And sometimes,
in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.

Where the Kitwanga
clutches the hand
of the Skeena,
begins the curved cut

14 hours of conversation
with needled compass heart
and fly-by ditch daisies
in full bloom, I ask
their radiant faces,

Could he love
me? Could he
love me?

Make no mistake,
the nod-bob of their heads
as I fly by circle and star,
by return and guide.

Just shy of Good Hope
Lake sits the ghost town
Cassiar. Now abandoned,
it once carried the collective
hum of 50,000 worker bees:
Hockey rink, movie theater,
asbestos pit.

In Ch’ilā Provincial Park,
turbid smoke from a nearby burn
meanders. Here, I navigate
the eskers and drumlins
of my own kindled hope.

Grace, Too

Title borrowed from the Canadian rock band, Tragically Hip.

The Haines Road rambles south
from the sun-drenched Yukon
to the rain wall of the Coast

Mountains. Just past Picnic Hill,
past the spot we named, The Place
Where Seagulls Nest, past the snow

fence, is where my eye caught
movement different than wind,
but driven like wind: ambled,

tossed, guided by scent. Bear!
Her nostrils flare to sky, bush,
ground. From behind a yellow

bar gate, she eyes me, breaks
our gaze to pad a well-worn trail
to nuzzle, sample the low-bush

fruit, berries for grazing, her sole
love and focus. Feather-brown,
mountain wood, boreal beryl,

she dwells in savage sweet. She
reminds me to cup my wild within
my hands, breath fanning flame.

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