Last Looks at the Robertson Headframe

Robertson Headframe: A City's Farewell



I’ve lost the trail, my lead dog is limping

The motor’s running rough, prop bent from a rock 

Shit, the wind’s dying, my kite’s in the snow more than the air

The motor is missing, tank’s almost empty

Deep wet snow has eaten up our gas


Paddling for 14 hours into an ugly headwind

No wax left on my skies

Need ice for these fish

Christ, this is a big lake

There’s spots of blood in their tracks now

Another roller breaks over the bow

The  lead dog raises her head surging forward

The team picks up the pace

My partner in the bow points to

I see, they spot, we all notice

 A blob of orange, through the ice fog, on the grey-green shoreline

Against the snow 

Poking through the clouds

I  hustle ahead on my icy skis

Squeeze the bulb urging more dirty gas from an empty tank

A gust of wind fills my kite

Lutselk’e, Taltheilei Narrows and Gros Gap, fade

We can clearly see black and white under an orange cap

My partner laughs as her paddle hits the water

That big ugly piece of industrial architorture is beautiful

It’s warm dry clothing


A chance to sell these fish

Heal feet 

Sleep in a bed 

Fix the motor 

Have a beer with friends 

Patch the kite

Think about the next trip.

— Terry Woolf, November 2016


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