Mistee St. Clair

–Nunam Iqua, Alaska

They were protecting the baby says the rescuer who found all four boys alive, huddled in one lump like a mass of newborn mice and partly burrowed in the snow.

The baby was in the middle, the seven-year-old blocking the storm, the oldest in soaked cotton sweats.

Lost eighteen miles chasing a fox into the calling white. The wind, a kind of monster, rushed across the coastal plain as if it had a nose for the exposed.

Do you know which of your own children would block the wind for the other? And the mother. Did she kill all the foxes

and hang the village with drying skins and then sew a shield of impenetrable furs, stitch by even stitch, binding those boys together so they would never know winter tasting them again.

Mistee St. Clair is the author of the chapbook This Morning is Different, published in 2021. Her poetry can be found in Sky Island Journal, Windfall, Tidal Echoes, Cirque, and elsewhere. She was born and raised in Alaska and lives in the temperate rainforest in Juneau, where she works in editing for the Alaska State Legislature.