Robert Peary Mistakes NYC for the North Pole

By Julie Wenglinski

Sails of gold glass unfurl in the dusk
billowing in late light,
trimmed and rigged,
beating the wind.

They surge above schoals of yellow cabs
swimming expertly between limos, pedestrians
and temporary concrete abutments
where lanes and lights make suggestions.

Under flapping flags, gaggles of shoppers,
bulbous in black winter coats,
waddle and shuffle,
a massive migration of penguins cresting the frozen floe.

There the flightless birds slide
into cavernous, luminescent department stores
and the bars below where they perch perplexed, honking and gulping,
adrift in a sea of gin, jazz notes, chipped ice and glowing red EXIT signs.


Julie moved from St. Louis to Titusville, Florida in 1964 because her father worked for the space program. She paid her debt to society by working 30 years in IT and now resides in Richmond, VA. She has been published in Masque & Spectacle, Nonbinary Review, Inflectionist Review and Parentheses.