GREAT LAKE WINTER
A crack in ice will join as well as rend.
In every ear that thinks it’s safe from harm,
The snap can clearly cause, or not, alarm.
But those who hear know how the world will end.
On lakes almost as big as tidal seas
The crack booms on into a moonlit night.
It takes a ball in cold and awful flight
To crack a lake like that and not appease.
Such rips in ice deploy the easy thought
Of dying warm and creviced in a bed.
But often with a light and practiced tread
I close on what the watery dead have taught
But stop too short the edge to catch the lore,
Become a coward tripping back to shore.