Chameleon - UBC's Journal of Children's Literature
v 1 n 1
Spring 2003

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Northern Lights

by Jill Boettger

The name Harlan
always makes me think
of dark places: caves,
a forest at night,
a deserted wrecking yard.
Or maybe it's the boy:
the way his shoulders slope
in, the way his eyes fix
on a point beyond
what I've learned to see.
Last night Harlan arrived
at our door twenty minutes
past ten. Mom and Mrs. Milk
had gone to town for drinks,
the house was quiet
and I was in bed. When
I didn't answer his knock, Harlan
fingered the key
from under the porch steps,
let himself in,
and came to my room
with a candle, sidestepping
laundry piles and library books.
He moved through the darkness
as though it were his original
landscape. He tugged at my
hand, threw me a fleece,
and waited outside. When I
came out, he pointed up
where the whole sky moved
above us. Giant ghost-like hands:
knuckles, palms, thumbs
and fingertips rolled and pushed the black canopy of sky.
Northern Lights he said
and the wind blew in cold
circles around us
and I rested against him, ready
for a whole night
of watching.

View more art,....
Photo Jan Curtis

.... Northern Lights at MTU's Aurora Page

Illustrations (page 2) by Lydia Podobnik      
Read by Jill Boettger       

Chameleon: UBC's Journal of Children's Literature

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