“A Thousand Miles from Nome” by Lydia Leclerc

She sees a form chasing her sled.
It is dark-bodied, yellow-eyed, trapped
in old forests, in an older world.

On the sixth night of the race, 
in the trembling coals: God,

a bare flame lit to keep from freezing in place. 
The sled dogs curl into themselves, 
dark noses hidden by plumed tails.

Alaska is empty, 
save for the footsteps of wolves 
pacing the edges of forest. 

The dogs’ heads rise like smoke, 
wild-eyed in waking; 
a rumble moves from the dogs to the sky.

The wolves slip away; 
their calls ring the dark air.

Lydia Leclerc is a writer and MFA candidate in the poetry track at Lesley University. Her work focuses on the pastoral, the strange, memory, and longing. Lydia received her bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and was the first place winner of the 2016 Stan & Tom Wick Undergraduate Poetry Prize and the 2016-2017 Donna Zurava Memorial Award for Best Writing Portfolio. She has also been featured on the award-winning Lesley University podcast, Why We Write.

She resides in Kent, Ohio with her husband and their three dogs.