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
Now the bonsai spruce,
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.