Ode to Ice
The man thinks of stepping on the ice.
He thinks of falling.
The woman thinks of calling a friend.
She thinks of the burden she will carry.
Ice covers the ground but does not
protect what’s already in the ground,
the way snowfall protects.
Ice makes venturing forth less
tempting; breeds stasis.
Under the ice the earth turns
in on itself. Things look dead,
but somehow, for the most part,
live on. Birds die when
they don’t get enough to eat.
Plants die when they are left
unprotected and unloved. Hold
my arm; if one falls, both fall.
The distance from the house to the car
seems as far as the nearest star.
The promise of spring, slowly
awakening, is an invitation
to dream. The days grow longer,
the sun shines more brightly,
the ice melts. The future, she thinks,
Begins any time now. It’s always
possible, he thinks, notwithstanding
appearances. The cracks in the tips
of his fingers start to heal.