Though usually solitary sentinels,

except in gift shops,

where they line the shelves

in mute plastic mimicry,

these grey figures

cluster in groups on stone pedestals,

or stand single and alert

on the crest of a lichen patched hill.

Just past the border station

on the Top-of-the-World,

outlined against the horizon,

they are not border guards

but rather…

…tiny greeters.

Miniatures of their tundra cousins,

they balance precariously,

stone on stone on rocky soil,

bidding travellers welcome

and inviting them to

increase the population,

as so many have done before.

After 32 years teaching in rural Yukon schools, Dan Davidson retired from that profession but continues writing about life in Dawson City.