A special Flash Friday edition of From The Vault, where we feature favorites from issues past. The story first appeared as a “New Voice” in Tin House #28.
We live in Tasiilaq, the eastern tip of Greenland, where two jutting coasts curve in on each other like crab claws. We are ruddy and plump and strong. The land around us is white and gray, white and gray, until August, when the broad ice belt begins to drip, drip, melt, shift down the river in blocks to the south. Some grow up and leave, those in the west, those who are more connected—the main airport, the capital city—the sons and daughters of insurance agents and doctors. They go south to Canada where things are more like TV, sunny and iridescent. We stay. We are the sons and daughters of seal hunters; we know the old ways and over our beds hang carved animals of tusk and bone.