Absence of Snow

m. f. nagel


(Alaska 1944)


In the absence of snow

Take the north road to the village

Follow the three-legged Dog Star.



The village of old men and salmon heads

Go to the fish house

                        Learn to cook fish


In the absence of snow

You are water

Frozen and thawed

Holy water

Hauled from the river.


You are winter


In the absence of snow.


m.f. nagel was born in anchorage Alaska, her love of poetry is a gift shared, from her Athabaskan and Eyak heritage. m.f. now lives and writes near the banks of the Matanuska river in the Palmer Butte, Alaska, where the moose, wild dog~roses and salmonberries provide unending joy and inspiration.