Published in About Place Journal Volume VII, Issue IV, October 2023
The white bear is asleep, splayed out like a starfish on the concrete floor, dreaming. She dreams smells: the biting wind carrying the scent of salted waves; the rank fishy odour of a ringed seal’s exhale; the faint milky whiff of her mother. Her body remains flat and motionless, but her wide black nostrils flare. Another smell enters the dream, the pungent aroma of a dead bowhead whale, washed ashore and rotting on a beach. In the dream she lifts her head, black nose to the wind, and inhales, tracking the scent. Her mother calls her with a gruff bark, and she and her sister run forward across a rocky stretch of coastal tundra, the smaller rocks scraping and clattering underneath their feet. Her front paw twitches, the enormous claws scraping against concrete.
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