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Carrie Ayagaduk Ojanen

Carrie Ayagaduk Ojanen is the author of Roughly for the North (University of Alaska Press, 2018). She lives in Maple Valley, Washington.

By This Poet

1

the pomegranate’s decimation

arils loosed from the yellow membrane
pith pocked and pocketed

spread across the plate Aapa 
gave us on our wedding day
my daughter, my panniq, picking at the crimson 
carapace, her graceful small fingers 
examining each aril between finger and thumb
before she consumes it, just so

reminds me of crab cooked in winter
my uncles letting loose
their catch across the tile floor
the clatter as thin tine toes
chased us 
and later the bodies’ 
carapace—craggy corniced interiors
the inner sanctum 
the source of life 
the sacred centering 
cathedral
of appreciation

have I done enough to deserve this

I hold each memory

the December light flickers out
between the dark damp trees

I watch my daughter, my panniq, as she is this moment