Under The Ice

This is where you asked for the rest of my life,
wind mumbling through pines, minting our cheeks,
designing flakes into small drifts.
We walked the lake, ignored warnings
of ice too thin, passion birthing its color,
flushing our skin a sudden pink.

Then back again on anniversaries, each year
bundled in more protective clothing
safe from each other and the wind,
fewer words spoken, the groaning of ice
seemingly louder, every stroll closer to the shore.

Police lights splash a dizzy blue against
the pillows of snow on the hills.
The bodies of two young lovers are sheeted,
loaves of bread, slid into an ambulance.

I imagine the lovers tangled, lips locked
in a hunger so heavy they didn’t hear the fist
of ice songs hitting the surface, ripping the night air.

No time for the mold of goodbye to grow on the tongue.
No hide and seek of emotion that you and I have
known for years.
Just a black plunge, a panicked thought,
the freeze always preserving
the passion calling its color.

5 comments

  1. Hi Kerri

    My first reaction to reading this fantastic poem is — Send this one out for publication somewhere! It is brilliantly constructed paralleling a relationship with nature and also defining how the ice mirrored a youthful relationship with a matured one, how life and death are separated by thin, reflective surface that can so easily crack. I love the descrptives in this piece and how intensely they underscore the emotion between the speaker and those she is connected to and those she suddenly observes. This passage is stunning –

    Then back again on anniversaries, each year
    bundled in more protective clothing
    safe from each other and the wind,
    fewer words spoken, the groaning of ice
    seemingly louder, every stroll closer to the shore.

    it speaks of the partnership weathered and yet there is a need to tread carefully allowing the ice to echo the
    groan of time and perhaps whatever maybe unsettling in the landscape and the relationship.

    Also the observance of the lovers that perished in the thin ice is so poignant and yet beautifully defined —

    The bodies of two young lovers are sheeted,
    loaves of bread, slid into an ambulance.

    I imagine the lovers tangled, lips locked
    in a hunger so heavy they didn’t hear the fist
    of ice songs hitting the surface, ripping the night air.

    those loaves of bread like a sacrificial sacrament, love’s compromise for taking the risk, the chance without looking ahead or back and so much more.

    And that last stanza, is just a huge WOW! Such impact and such wisdom on the part of the speaker –

    No time for the mold of goodbye to grow on the tongue.
    No hide and seek of emotion that you and I have
    known for years.
    Just a black plunge, a panicked thought,
    the freeze always preserving
    the passion calling its color.

    Indeed, the young couple never had a chance to journey through the perils of life and a relationship as well as cull the strength, endurance and wisdom that comes with it. They haven’t had tome to deliver coping skills or mechanisms to deal with the fragility of existence or survival.

    Just fine, fine writin!!!,
    Thank you, my friend!
    much enjoyed,
    Wendy

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  2. “every stroll closer to the shore”

    Kerri,

    Those few words ring with the truth of the universe. Relationship with self, with each other, with the universe,
    how awesomely complete that phrase is in all instances. There is a peace that passion denies, and in the aging process of anything (from a couple, to an autumn leaf, to a person reacting to life,) that peace denies passion.

    There is something innately sad about strolling ever closer to the shore and yet I think we all choose it as a method of survival, unless of course like the autumn leaf or the young lovers nipped in their prime, we succumb to the glory of the blaze.

    This poem blows me away. Its impact grows with each read. You have a magnificent ability to bring life to the page. Please don’t ever take your talent for granted, and do not ever doubt the gift you’ve been given.

    Take a bow, Dear Poet.

    sarah

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