the ice, five parts


the ice, five parts

7 february 2015

part one

i saw it from a distance and knew it would be there:

frozen ditch water.

cold wind with a sun bright and unwarming,

i get to it and see its smooth surface.

i don’t resist the childlike desire

to see if it will hold me.

the risk is low, the water so shallow

i won’t get wet

even if i break through.

we’re in a bit of a valley together, the ice and i.

nestled by just enough land

the wind escapes us.

i tap my foot, smiling.

i press the ball of my foot, smiling.

i ease my heel down, smiling.

what i want isn’t as much for it to hold me

as it is for me to crack it and not fall through.

i want that muffled zing sound

like it might sound

if someone tapped two metal spoons underwater

while i lay on the bottom of the tub.

i want the rush of not knowing

if i should be doing this.

i want to make my mark from one side to the other.

i want the satisfaction of my weight

being just enough and not too much.

and smiling, i did it.

the surface gave just a little and then the zing.

the same ditch water that flows to the creek

where i make ripples in spring.


i walk further down the road, smug and grateful.

and while my feet keep moving,

my eyes widen, my mouth’s smile slacks,

there is clamoring from my belly up to my throat,

my heart and mind lurch to a stop.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 8.20.27 AM

part two

i am the ice

he is the weight


part three

i am the ice

she is the weight


part four

my joy dipped then soared

in the weird way that discovering truth,

even when horrific, does.

THIS is what it was like

not a gentle ripple making a change

affecting the whole.

not a round pebble plopping into a buttery pond of water.

not a source of anticipation for the fresh frogs on the shore.


it was the nearly inaudible jolt

slow pressure

the muffled zing

the startling uncertainty

the quiet shock

spanning one side to the other

sent through my frozen body

cracking the whole.


part five

i get back to the cracked ice.

my heart and body adjusted

to their own revelation,

my mind is curious about the crack,

my camera ready.


the middle.

the middle is cracked.

the surface is smooth.

underneath is still flowing.

the center, the part still frozen,

is split.


i feel validated by the ditch.

this IS what it’s like.


scraping off the smooth top,

melting my way

through the hidden cracks,

to be in the flow.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 8.20.27 AM

– – – – – – – – – – –

4 thoughts on “the ice, five parts

  1. Really good. I’m sorry you suffered then and now as you process the past. I learn from reading your writing. I work with children who have been abused in a myriad of ways. Thank you for what you do. I wish you peace.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s