Hi, Leif

Leif Erikson, Shilshole Marina, Seattle

This statue of Leif Erikson, son of Erik the Red, watches over Puget Sound from Shilshole Marina. Joggers sometimes turn their heads up as they pass and call out, “Hi, Leif.” For a huge chunk of bronze, the statue is mysteriously alive; it seems to welcome greetings, responding with silent stoicism: this is what it takes.

Pehaps Leif is enlivened by the many hundreds of Nordic immigrants whose names are inscribed on rune stones around his feet. Or by our need for a hero. Certainly by the artist, August Werner.

Copies of the sculpture stand in Brattahlid, Greenland and Trondheim, Norway.

October 1st

three men huddled, sitting
before the door of St Luke’s,
dark hair, dark clothes,
in the dark of early morning,
three days of rain moving on,
medieval misery—yet—
this reluctant brotherhood,
cold and wet,
can call forth angels