Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Polar Guides

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In Bellingham, Mo and I
stand chatting and scanning the sea
on a clear and chilly February day.
Our kids run about playing pirates
and throwing rocks in the water.

It's been a few years since
we've seen each other,
the last time on an icebreaker
sailing north from Antarctica.
We were guides then
driving zodiacs,
kayaking with whales,
leading hikes through penguin rookeries.
We'd point out different types of albatrosses and
hand around drams of scotch at Shackleton's grave,
each day heightened by the camaraderie of explorers
sharing new exhilarations.

Now we guide different voyages,
leading our small charges through the world:
sidestepping dangers,
suggesting more layers,
announcing over the loudspeaker
dinner will be served in five minutes on Deck 2.

Mo and I clamber up the jungle gym,
to stand on the bridge,
still on the lookout,
always,
for wonders.


Sarah Burns‘s poems have appeared online in WA 129, The Birmingham Arts Review and A¬†Gallimaufry. She is currently working on an anthology of poetry about pregnancy, birth and motherhood¬†called Dare Alla Luce / To Give to the Light. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.


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Love this! The explorations of life!
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