The Light before the Fire (First Sea Ice, Point Hope)

There’s not much sun now –

three hours or so from dawn to dusk

and in those three hours, the sun doesn’t climb very high

so that on clear days the world is bathed 

in soft pink and lavender and gold

the horizon rimmed in turquoise

beneath a pale sky

until one day the wind shifts,

and gathers sheets of ice

already formed at sea,

and pushes the ice to shore

where it gathers the light,

and you forget about the things you thought you missed…

the life you left behind

in that moment

before the sun sinks to the ice-covered sea

and everything turns to fire