Degrees of Latitude
from DEGREES OF LATITUDE
We all lived together in the big stone house, my mother, my father, my two brothers and me.
Like bats, avoiding each other by radar.
When we (that is, Lionel and I) invite Buddy and his wife to go dancing, he says there’s a thirty percent chance.
No, he says, you have to understand. That’s up from zero.
Thirty-five million years ago. Ice began to form.
In my crib I could hear them by the fireless fireside.
In silhouette, silent, my Arctic family circle: mother, father, Buddy, Will.
My father might have called it a den of inequity.
In the dark above my crib: spirals swirling.
In my held breath: Aurora borealis.