Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview

Lake Ice

The length of a first marriage: eternity, shore-fast ice
creeping onto the Lake. In such cold, when told to sing, stones

fell from my throat; when told to sit still, knees hum.
So the Lake chews the pier when told to be quiet, sand

runs in frozen ridges up the dune. It’s all done; the mouth
unfolds its origami cranes. Was I the wife who cowered

in bed? You can’t sing with a broken neck. That girl folds
her hands into steeples: the open door, crowd of people

in rabbit-fur hats. Winter knocks its elbow against the window
glass. When told to be still, terns jab the horizon’s

barbed line. For years I thought the sun couldn’t again
shine: smudge low in the sky. Water a cold sludge. The child

who clung to my side and cried. White pine and grouse
and woodcocks and their upside-down brains undid daylight

in ropes, darkness braided in my hair. But winter-frozen
frogs will resurrect. But word that can’t be unspoken: hope.

Hell. Beneath the floe, the depth of water: miles.  end  

return to top