“Captain Robert F. Scott and His Diary, circa 1912” by Julie Mafhood

Postcard:
your life reduced to this.

Pen in hand
and pipe
legs crossed while you write
the comforts of home.

Perhaps you write about this room:
rough hewn shelves lined with books
whose titles have been lost,
crates on army cot
and behind you, clothing:

smartly
gathered
piles

If you could have foreseen
that Amundsen would get there first,
could you have folded your dreams
into a neat, naval package
tucked beneath your head?

Your account: when supplies ran out
companions never blamed.
One month too late,
cold journey homeward
and journal entry: a last coffee.

Amundsen has nothing on you:
not your Hemingway demeanor
poetic demise
nor that final clay bowl of liquid
steaming words
to the page.

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