“Portrait of Young Girl,” Thomas Dewing, 1890, WikiArt.

Gripped by fevers, Ketiley’s mind had lost
Place and time, returning to childhood days,
Warmth of summer sun, she drifted above
Greenlandic seas, Norway seeking, familiar
Streams, forests, sounds of youth, mornings
Awakened by bleating sheep, ship building,
Father as lone blacksmith, hammer clanging,
Smell of smoky fires roaring, metal hot-
Glowing. In Norway, she had no fevered-
Illness, no coughing spells, honouring family
Home before passing death’s dark door.

Few sips of willow-bark tea, voices beckoning
Her to Greenland stay, familiar fiord shores.
Ketiley preferred sound of rustling winds of
Norwegian spruces, whispered or storm-
Wailing, standing fast against winter blasts.
If they withstood blowing snows, so could
She, child’s reasoning of tree-clad mountain
Heights. Another cough, breath in gasps
Wheezing, Ketiley tried to speak, her mind
Yelling to those around her, yet no one
Heard her screams, Greenland drifting.

“Seascape (Cloudy),” Gerhard Richter, 1969, WikiArt.

Alas! Voices in cloud-illuminating lights
Greeted her above cresting seas, her soul
As wind-darting seagull. “Do you wish
To continue as Ketiley?” deific voices
Asked, no judgement, her soul warmth-
Cradled, lifetime of passing moments.
With inward gasp of breath, Ketiley stated,
“Yes!” More sips of tea, reassuring nods,
She awakened in home Norway, girl she
Always was, yet, she knew of another
Family and home in Greenland.

Realized as near-death experience, familiar sounds and
smells sent Ketiley to Greenland f
iord shores, memories
yet experienced, present and future blurred.      

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