Letters to the Editor

Poem: Springtime in Alaska

It’s springtime in Alaska, getting lighter every day,

as the tour boats and the charters motor out into the bay.

But white stuff still surrounds us and we’re all just sick to death.

We’ve been shoveling since October with little time to take a breath.

It’s piled up to our fences, sometimes drifted six-feet high,

March and April flakes keep falling. Kinda makes you want to cry.


Still, it’s springtime in Alaska with an awful lot to see,

but the most inspiring vision is the Visqueen flying free.

It’s caught up in the spruce tops, it’s tangled in the brush,

It’s scattered in the streambeds where the breakup waters rush.

It’s wrapped about the tele wires, and stuck on street lamp posts.

I’m sure some’s even wondered to the Kenai’s outer coast.

It blows along like tumble weed and gathers in your yard.

Just when you think you’ve cleaned it up it catches you off guard.

There’s a piece upon your doorstep, another on your fence.

There are fragments stuck in places that don’t make a lot of sense.

I step on it when walking and it wraps around my feet.

I’d shake it off, but it’s so cold it helps keep in the heat.

Occasionally I’ll spot a gem, a real Alaskan find,

A symbol of “The Last Frontier,” a real one-of-a-kind:

A piece of Visqueen wrapped in duct tape makes my heart go thump.

My tears flow freely, then they freeze. My throat conceals a lump.


But after daylight savings and several days of rain,

It’s noticeably warmer and life seems less a pain.

The snow starts melting quickly, leaving last year’s junk behind,

and backyard searching parties are amazed a what they find.

The jays scream bloody murder at the magpies and the crows,

while the ravens guard the dumpsters, lining up in single rows.

The eagles start their mating falls, moose wander round the town.

Humpbacks are spotted in the bay, and mountain goats abound.

The smell of dog poop lingers on your shoes and in the air.

Mixed in with processed herring it’s a scent to part your hair.

But it’s springtime in Alaska so no one dares complain.

And those who say the sun’s too bright are quickly judged insane.

As spring turns into summer, and summer into fall,

the cottonwood snow showers make you wonder at it all.

Perhaps those fluffy, floating seeds are not quite what they seem.

I’d like to think they’re Visqueen spores if only in my dreams.

They’ll settle on a fertile spot – a branch, a fence, a deck,

then mate up with a duct tape plant until – oh, what the heck.


You get the point, it’s springtime, and that affects the brain.

In fact, I’ll tell you, writing this has been a mental strain.

But it’s springtime in Alaska, when anything can go,

and right about the present time, we wish it were the snow.

— Doug Capra



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Doug Capra

Doug Capra is a freelance writer from Seward.