we climbed a stony path to our snug
cottage my granddaughter and me
I walked with decorated poles
their tips blunted our hosts’ cottage
was below they raised their shades
to show us they were up we raised
ours to show we’d breakfasted and
were ready for the day (the fridge
was stocked with cheeses meats breads
brown eggs juices even two cans of beer)
our time was gentle unhurried a walk
along a wharf where a viking ship was
being built a copy of the real one in
the oslo museum fish soup at a
seaside table a whole afternoon on
the sunny sea threading our way
among small and large islands
humping their smooth rocks from
the water like great whale backs
another day among the farmlands
green gold fields barley wheat onions
carrots a white church 500 years old
its graveyard where Nils’ parents are
at rest the farm Nils was raised on
we know this man for he worked
a while at the farm I was raised on
we twice ate at a quiet restaurant
our view an ancient stone lighthouse
its light had been glowing coals in a
basket raised on a pole seagulls are
alert to snatch our bread Marie tells
us the name of this rocky island tip
is “The End of the World”

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