In the yard the ice was no longer
falling. Just plump, fruitful rain
drops. The freeze had made beautiful
sculptures, which hung
from any still place -
a flag pole,
a stair railing,
A thick glossy layer of icing, the
rolling drips imprisoned within them-
selves. I plucked a green
leaf from a red tip which
seemed willing to fight me
for it. I picked off the ice from
the shoot, gently, like a scab.
Its shape held magnificently.
It was cold, stinging my hand
with its startling clarity.
Giving birth to fat, wet drops,
poison began to fall, drip-drop,
down toward my feet. As
my fingers grew numb, I
squinted to see a grain
of nature, any semblance of
the slab where it cured,
the mantle where it shone,
the house onto which it was born—
all those places gone; almost all water,
a completely different thing. My grasp
numb, I didn't feel it slipping out of my
hand. As it fell to the ground, toward
the water that bled from it, I
felt the shatter. Four different pieces,
so small, singular. In seconds there was
nothing solid left.
*This poem first appeared in Permafrost Literary Journal - 2006
Jacqueline Markowski is a writer of poetry and short stories. She lives in Charlotte, NC where she divides her time between writing and being a homeschooling mother. Her poetry has appeared in Chronogram Magazine, Cochlea/The Neovictorian and Permafrost Literary Journal. She was awarded first place in poetry during the 2006 Sandhills Writers Conference. She is currently working on a compilation of short stories but who’s she kidding- she’ll never finish.