Past Terre Neuve, around Les Milles Isles,
up into Isle Bonne Fortune,
north into the white, cold snows,
into a world of frozen oceans and rivers,
past Groenland and on
and on, into the Artique
until my hands freeze to quill,
until ink, thick, freezes in glass.
Still we press on.
Some days I wonder
how to map and chart a white land
on white sea
against white sky.
Often I dream of home,
of my office in Bordeaux,
of land and colour, hue, warmth.
And I wonder if I’m too old
to live this dream
if I’m too old
to traipse through this cold nightmare.
. (Mr. Bonne)
Inspired by the names, both place names and the name of the cartographer, on an old map of the north that my husband recently found and had framed.