Susan Pope

The Cabin

It begins with a deep brown Alaskan lake lined with thick, silky muck. A spindly forest of spruce, willow, and alder. A swamp of bog blueberry, cinquefoil, cotton grass, and aromatic Labrador tea. Mosquitos, fierce and dense. Trout and salmon. Loons, ducks, grebes, gulls. Beaver, muskrat, moose, and bears. Berries. Once a place of fish camps and villages, hunters and trappers. Once a place of plenty. On a map, lines are drawn, long thin rectangles, each with a slice of ragged lakeshore. Little boxes of land, sold at a tidy profit. One goes to my father.

Susan Pope

Susan Pope’s essays have appeared in Pilgrimage; Damselfly Press; The Southeast Review Online; Crosscurrents North: Alaskans on the Environment; Cirque: A Literary Journal of the Pacific Rim; Persimmon Tree; Bluestem; The Delmarva Review, Under the Sun; Under the Gum Tree; and other journals and anthologies. She was nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize for her essay, “Canyon,” in the journal Bluestem. She lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska.