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Akureyri, northern Iceland, in the 19th century

The Ship of Endurance

Some opt for the Terrace, the sunshine, the breeze,
And divide between tourists — letting in the draught
By taking their time to saunter through the glass doors —
And locals, who go out quickly. The tourists ignore altogether
The people preferring to sit at the tables inside,
And deliver the café a hurricane — single
Pages from broadsheet papers — notes on lectures — credit
With precious landline numbers that took months
To extract from their owners — inspirations
That just had to be written down — there they go,
Chasing over the just-swept floor, people's whole days
Lost in fury and despair...Therefore I thank
The tall mindful local woman who when
She went out herself only opened the Terrace door
At the most acute angle enabling her to escape
— And before that had gathered up all my flying poems
In her hand to return them to me.
I dream up awards
For the — strictly speaking unrequired — courtesies
That make up the threads which hold the Ship of Endurance
Together. But all I can do for the moment
Is thank you, sincerely, Karin Johannesdottir,
Even though your business card speaks about "IT".

Akureyri, 2012

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