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Thursday, August 19, 2010


by Sharon Lask Munson

Captain Cook Hotel
Anchorage, Alaska

     Ted Stevens died in a plane crash today, Monday,
       August 9, 2010, thirty-two years after surviving
       the plane crash that took the life of his first wife, Ann.

Leaning on the cushioned settee
stretched the length of the café,
I sip my Kona refill,
push away remains
of a fresh crab salad —
the waitress swoops in,
a float plane making touch 'n' go’s,
removing plates, crumbs.

Looking down the line of tables
I glance at Senator Stevens
and his wife, Ann,
amazed at the small-town tenor
of Alaska’s largest city.

Ann walks over, sits, begins to chat —
Ted’s leaving to make a call.
Isn’t this drippy weather disheartening
after the warm autumn we’ve been having.

My after-lunch companion is easy and natural,
a kindred spirit.
We talk of the gallery on Eighth,
Bristol Bay’s salmon run,
schools in The Bush,
Nordstrom’s move into downtown.

When the Senator returns, he joins us,
sits for a moment, preoccupied, before they both stand,
slip into rain gear, bid me good-by,
and walk toward the lobby
into random destiny.

Sharon Lask Munson lived and taught school in Alaska for twenty wonderful years.  Her work has appeared in Verseweavers, Earth's Daughters, Windfall, Drash: Northwest Mosaic, among other publications.  She now lives in Eugene, Oregon.