At dawn, sheltered from wind

and snow, my daughter reads

Greek myths to me while I curl

in the warmth of my sleeping

bag. In the tent, my eyes closed,

I fall through layers of limestone

and conglomerate.  The dark

of my eyelids are filled

with endless rocks patterned


by bivalve fossils, hundreds

in each stone, and I can still

smell herbal Artemisia waft

through the tundra where we

walked all yesterday. Her

grown-competent hands

prepare our meal.  I let her

take care of me.  Later, she


rests while I read John Muir

out loud. When I look over,

her eyelashes lay thick

on sunny cheeks, somehow

unchanged after all this time,

and I remember all those bedtime

stories, all those quiet moments

when I was first

a mother.



Julie Hungiville LeMay was born and raised in Buffalo, New York and moved to Alaska’s Matanuska Valley where she has lived since 1978. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in a number of literary journals including Potomac Review, Passager, Bluestem, Pilgrimage, Lummox, and Cirque. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles and served as poetry editor for their online journal, Lunch Ticket.