Denise Bergman

Unfrozen

 

Boots in the vestibule sop a wad of rags.

The front brick stoop, sidewalk, pothole street

a laminate of ice.

Inches: four slosh over galoshes’ toes,

nine, the laces’ dead-end knots.

Ten deep, easily, creek at the curb.

But never mind.

Ask about when the boat captain in Alaska

stilled the engines in the middle of the bay.

Land nowhere, silence everywhere, no silence

at all. A crackling

field of blue-chunk breakaway bergs

bobbing, boisterous

free spirits until rewelded

in winter as one.

At a distant edge the sea

hardens into a white terminal massif,

landless and land.

Cliff walls rumble, calve, tumble

and the mask of the glacier’s grimace collapses

and slowly sinks.

But never mind that.

Its miniature offspring click and whistle,

romp. Jostle.

Little cousins waist deep, an inflated

backyard pool.

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