The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Last Glacier at the End of the World by Vivian Faith Prescott

Apocalyptic Guidebook to a Glacier

I trained my eyes to see,
in real time, the morning

when the gravel and ice moved back
and stumps and logs still bearing

roots and bark appeared
like storied relics,

exposed for the first time
in a thousand years.

The helicopters hovered
and boats collided

in the dazzled blink of a thousand
eyes and cameras and phones

reflecting on the ice.
What remained of its blue veins

fractured and tumbled into the bay.
The earth sprang up and we felt

a perishing groan.
Men and women in white coveralls

and white helmets
bent down with magnifying

glasses to examine
the chattermarks and striations

left as it cut away, as it melted,
as it broke off, as it surged into the inlet

And what no one considered
was the snowflea eating algae

and the bear’s wet paw prints
drying in the brash light of us.

This selection comes from The Last Glacier at the End of the World, available from Split Rock Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Vivian Faith Prescott was born and raised in Wrangell, a small island community is Southeastern Alaska. She lives in Wrangell at her family’s fishcamp—Mickey’s Fishcamp. She holds an MFA from the University of Alaska and a PhD in Cross Cultural Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She’s a founding member of Community Roots, the first LGBTQ group on the island. Prescott is also a member of the Pacific Sámi Searvi, and writes frequently about Sámi diaspora and climate change in Alaska. She is a two-time recipient of a Rasmuson Fellowship (2015, 2019) and a recipient of the Alaska Literary Award (2017). Prescott is the author of four chapbooks, two full-length poetry books, and a short story collection. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net. Along with her daughter, Vivian Mork Yéilk’, she writes a column for the Juneau Empire called Planet Alaska. For more information, visit: Twitter: planet_alaska and poet_tweet.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe and the Non-Fiction Editor of Doubleback Review. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Selkie Literary Magazine, and Writing Class Radio. She’s currently an MFA Nonfiction candidate at Vermont College of Fine Art and lives in Riverview, Florida.


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