The old hands said Antarctica never forgot
after a while you belonged
and part of it belonged to you
anyone who had done 5 or 7 years
or a winter
was a member
memory couldn’t identify the exact point
one day you just were.
People told me I would miss it
my thoughts would spin South
as a magnet to North.
The first October 1st
I paid no attention to the first flight
I turned my back to the other initiation rituals.
History : Control. Alt. Delete.
It was my first visit to the New Zealand base
our workers the previous year had behaved badly – very badly
had left an odour of hooliganism everywhere
especially at this little outpost of New Zealand.
We required permission to go beyond the front desk
I needed to see the Officer in Charge
to arrange to sit my examinations
I asked a man standing in the foyer
he was curt : “ I’m not the receptionist mate.”
Two weeks into my first absent season
a helicopter crash
including the ‘not receptionist.’
Antarctica could be praised, or cursed
but would not tolerate being ignored.
For the back story click Backstage
If you like a piece of writing (or the site) please share.