Land of Giants and Dwarfs

July 4, 2019

At mile 124 on the Little Bear      

outbound from Cochrane      

or inbound from Moosonee      

our train mutates,       


dwarfing the black spruce,      

rising above them,                     

our vision stretching over the flattened land     

until our stature challenges    

the ridge of trees in the distant west      

(or east).                         


Now the bonsai spruce,

pert miniatures

in an endless nursery yard,

flip their branches jauntily skyward — 

their top tufts delicate pompoms

below us in the blowing snow.


Our giant eyes overlook

the sea of green,

then probe down and in — 

scanning curiously for a cute life lived to scale.


But we’re hurtling by,

too leviathan, too juggernaut

to see the tiny animals,

the tiny hunters on invisible trails,

to hear the pop of tiny rifles, the buzz of tiny chain saws,

to smell the elusive whiff of tiny cooking fires.


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