Traveling across the tundra, prayers of thanksgiving hover on my lips. You tower above glacial streams, fiddle heads, cranberry bogs, and mountain peaks. Athabaskans understand. You are the High One. Within your gaze, grizzlies roam. Caribou, Dall sheep, moose and marmots too. Gleaming sun and star scrim skies light your view. Oh Denali, you stand tall. Guardian of this hallowed land.
Written for Day 1 of a 21 day challenge online course with my poetry mentor, Holly Wren Spaulding. Prompt: write a prose poem that includes an animal. Photo from our trip to Alaska that included the Denali National Park’s 12 hour Kantishna tour. At the time, this was officially Mount McKinley, but was always called Denali by Alaskans. One month after we returned home, by executive order, President Obama officially renamed Mount McKinley, Denali.