Calling the Glacier Vatnajökull on the Telephone

Robin Cedar


[“The creaking and splashing sounds of Europe's largest glacier slipping into an ocean grave are just a phone call away now that an artist has installed a microphone in its surrounding waters.” – Reuters UK]



I’m nervous when I call it. 
I’m told it’s okay to call – but
my fingers tremble as I dial. 

The news reports say
there are politics in snow. 
But this? This is only loneliness. 

There’s you – no, 
the glacier – 
and there’s me. 

Ear to the phone, I pretend
the clicking-shifting on the other end
is a welcoming. 

Perhaps I called at a bad time. 
I should ask it – you – how it’s feeling, 
if all is well. 

I know the answer. And I didn’t call
to second-guess myself. 
I called to hear something in the act 

of dissolving, to reassure
myself that I am still solid. 
It’s what happens when you’re stuck 

in one place for too long, you start
to think you’re eroding. 
I’m still here. 

Even in my thoughts, my words
are staggering, stagnant, but I won’t let
it put a word in edgewise, listening as it – 

as you – 
melt away
and scrape away 

and wither, dwindle, 
shift away—



Robin Cedar is a recent graduate from Oregon State University, where she received her MFA in poetry. She serves as poetry editor and social media manager of 45th Parallel. She's been published in Blue Mesa Review, Front Porch Journal, Leveler, The Fem, and elsewhere. She talks about whales in most casual conversations.

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