Poem of the Month: Ice

There is no ice in L. A.
yet each December we skate
across the year’s days frozen
like a winter pond
in woods we used to know
reached by trails trod so often
we did not consider the way
could ever be lost

There is no ice in L. A.
yet each December the days behind
so liquid in their living
stiffen into glacial sheets
that slide ahead to build new ground
where grass may grow and we may walk
no step without the steps before
no deed without its prologue

There is no ice in L. A.
but under every changing hour
ice lurks, strong, ancient, familiar
faces lie within like captured leaves
words of anger, words of love, talk
no chisel can chip away now
words, faces that hummed with heat once
next year and the next
will hold them fast, prettify
rough edges with rime crystals
make their stillness almost beautiful
no thaw will loose their grip
cold fingers round our hearts
but stubborn pump of blood will warm
their touch so we may bear it better
so they may rest in easy water
freed to shift and settle, inhabit
long silence beneath our flashing blades
ice-texture-4288x2848_52831in the melt of our remembrance

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