The Ice Storm

Originally written: March, 1991

It is one of the most frightening things I’ve ever done
Walking out with my father
to feed the growling generator gasoline

Opeing the door is strangely new.
The ice is like glass, its so crystal clear
but there is a liquid quality to it,
the way it covers EVERYthing…
not missing even a single pine needle

and the way it forms in solid drops
it seems as though it will yield if i touch it,
a viscous layering of molten sugar,

So beautiful
at least half an inch thick on everything
and then


the silence of the frozen world collapses
along with a tree.


and another is gone.
My mother walks with us too,
her curiosity overwhelms her.
all she can do is stare in horror.
Trying to decide when the next will fall.
All dad can say is how much work
clearing the yard will be.



I am so child-like inside.
I have seen an ice storm before, but I was only six.

This thing, this that nature has haphazardly tossed on on us…
This is so much larger than me.


Just that and I could
be silenced forever.
But I’m not afraid.

A Maple, 80 years my senior,
bending with the weight of its water logged branches
its drooping head
mopping the brittle grass
and then


and it find the ground.

I should be more afraid.

But as much as I jump at each small crack,
I can’t help but love this.

Those pines, looking like my fathers beard in deep winter,
coated with his frozen breath,
and the bushes with newly budding leaves,
now covered and gleaming like scattered gems.

They make me go back inside,
Though I beg…

is our flag…
Frozen and twisted.


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