Fueled with visions of giant tortoises
and blue-footed boobies, I lace up my boots.
A surprise snowstorm lurks just hours away;
we rush out to the cab so we can fly
to the desert islands—Galapagos.

I need to walk other shores, to meet species
that have never seen enough of humans to fear.
If only our cabbie can drive well enough to steer
through Friday’s afternoon streets.

At the airport night cocoons the terminal.
A child yells, “nieve!” I trust the work of de-icing
as we board the plane. Unfrozen, we fly to Miami
where warmth permeates our doubts. Two more flights:
the sights of Guayaquil, a customs line coiling
through a room. Spanish-challenged, sleep-deprived,
we arrive on San Cristobol’s shore. Sea lions lounge
on park benches while we wait for our zodiacs
to churn through the waves. Bring us to our ship,
our Endeavor.

Tokarczyk has published two books of poetry, The House I’m Running From and Bronx Migrations, as well as in numerous journals and anthologies. She was raised in a working-class family in New York City. She was a professor at Goucher College, Baltimore. Now retired, she lives in New York City.