George Wallace The 2River View, 5.4 (Summer 2001)

gregoire's journal

rock-strewn island. small black spruce
with larch and a few spindly birches.
ice only left the bay, he noted, when
the brent geese flew in june. but how
brilliantly i can recall the frozen snow
mass in the morning. we left the fishing
station at dawn from moisie to matamec
over a field of open water and then on
upriver. as he did. awoke with the wolver-
ine. an avalanche of ice. and an indifferent
innu guide. have you read how gregoire
ascended the river that day against
strong currents? reached mitshikamau
by mid-morning? so did we. to the place
where he made his final journal entry.
in all his travels through the country
side, he wrote, he had never seen a
killing field like this. and wrote no more.
shaken, and walking gingerly among
all those feathers. like gregoire, we take
up the trail from here without further
comment. to the place where caribou
may still be seen crossing the frozen lake.

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