Sunday, March 13, 2011


I am fascinated by icicles
The way they come and go with the weather
Rather like Canada geese, only slower,
Drop by drop, migrating from roof to ground
Sometimes in the pleasing form of wind-chimes,
Others, in one great sword of Damocles,
Begging the life of those who pass beneath.

My fourth grade teacher had a big blue house
With two stories and a fairy-tale roof
And every winter, when the birds had flown,
The biggest icicle in the whole world
Would form under her eaves, a full eight feet
In length, pointing straight down at the back door.
None of us expected her to survive

But she did, year after year – with a smile.
She embraced that threat and named it: beauty.
And as I think on her now, I wonder
If we all don’t live with what others see
As slow-dripped danger hanging overhead.
Maybe they’re right; then again, maybe not.
My teacher died at last – but not from ice.

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