Outflow winds



When the pressure falls
bringing in the clouds,
the air softens. Ten above.
If you hunker down and listen
you can hear the crystals shift.
The snow slumps in on itself
and the creek, well, the creek
perks right up and so do the chickadees.

When the pressure rises
to clear the sky for the night’s big show
the temperature slips to fifteen below.
The snow gleams like beaten egg whites
and cold air stirs the hair against your cheek.
Pretty soon it’s slipping down the creek
toward the river,
the air that is,
and just as the river collects its creeks
at every confluence
those outflow winds
haul each other along
and pour toward the estuary
whipping up the waves against the tide at Tyee
white caps all the way across Flora Banks
out into Chatham Sound
until the Green Island light
is rimed with frozen spray.

In Hecate Strait
crab pots slide across treacherous decks
men and women holding on as best they can
below the glittering conjunction of the moon, Venus
and Mars.






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