Tuesday, November 3, 2009

an unexpected sheet of ice


the factors of location and cold
contribute to the thin sheet of ice
that covers the entire surface of the pond.
it's still up. it covers low spots
that are normally soggy but passable.

there are tracks out on the ice
something crossed without falling through.
my feet could not stay on top.
i dont think this boat would do
to play icebreaker.
its prow is not sharp enough
to crack the frozen surface.

the stream makes its cold but fluid way
under cedars and over stones down the channel.

i hear a sound and turn to see
a lizard twist around the leaves
and slowly search a stone to sun.

i had no idea such an animal
would be active in this cold
surely he's more vulnerable at this speed
but little else is out to look for lizards.

downstream the little waterfall
is trimmed by ice to the sides
where water splashes more than runs.

ice has encased leaves, tree roots and the stems of plants
not to mention the rocks that hold it all up.
the main course is free to the movement of water
the sound subdues its surroundings and water falls.

three days and i'll be gone
back east on a slow train
and i'll be unable to hear the water
or fight my desire to walk on ice
or sit here and watch the ice to see if it moves.

three days and i'll be gone
back home. back to love.
back to what's been missing
all this time.

i've seen some things i've never seen before.
what glaciers do to rocks, what an iceage does to water.
this is only winter. & barely that.
we get more sunlight every day.

in the woods i sit on a rock, feet on soft moss.

there are two roads to the pond.
one is short and quick and only slightly precarious.
the other is the back way, the old way to get here.
overgrown with brush
a few places the road crosses a sharp ditch
where rocks are piled for a bridge
the truck cant pass.

close to the pond the road has been covered
by a carpet of moss i'd feel guilty driving on.
the moss has taken a liking
to a road grown cold.

the sun is blocked from shining here
hours before it sets.
the hills that feed the pond allow a window
from midmorning til midafternoon
when the sun rakes the valley, pond and hillsides
with fresh light.
not long enough to dispell the ice of winter
not long enough to overheat a body in the summer
(when the window grows)

no storm today. the sky's an icy blue.

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