What the Cold Can Do

*Glaciers on Mt. McKinley*

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? In honor of that, I decided to challenge myself to revise and polish a poem I actually wrote on top of my notes as I worked on my novel one magical day when my love of language woke with a jump and took over my growing self-discipline. (And when I say “on top of my notes,” I mean it. Brainstorming my upcoming chapter, I was inspired to put down my markers, pick up a pencil, and write right over what I had just been writing. Sometimes its fun being a crazy creative.)

I wondered where I would find much ice or snow to photograph to go with my post, as spring is making her way into Vermont with a spongy squish. Instead, I reached way back to a flight I took over Mt. McKinley in 1999. It was in a little Cessna with two other people, and it was unforgettable. If you’re nice, I may even throw in a funny “who is that lady” picture of me from all those years ago.

 

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What the Cold Can Do

Striations of snow, sinews of ice
settling into ancient fissures
pushing the cold deep, deeper
than the sun can reach.
It’s the cold that can be seen                                          
for miles
and miles away
I stare and I reach
not just with my eyes
but all my insides.
I wait
for a sound, for a sight, to be bound,
reached just as deeply,
crashed open from the inside.
Making room for new
cracking through
scar tissue and apathy.
Shouldering apart vulnerable interstices
where you can climb in,
rest.
And you might find a home
in my broken places
carved by cold, carved by snow,
room enough for what you know,
and space enough
for all of me.

 

 

 

And, as promised…

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