RDC Poetry Dec 2018

The Hudson Ices Over



by Alice Feeley, RDC



The river needs time to turn to ice.

It starts in the dark; by dawn

water slows down to a silver sheen,

like eyes glazing over when a story goes on

too long.  Ripples and waves are smoothed

to paralysis.  Thin ice cracks like stiff white frosting. 

The river is patched with dull light,

jagged like shards of old mirrors.  Then

everything hardens, the landscape is set.

Ice deepens to chunks of white floes,

separate, bumping each other,

crashing unheard near the shore.  Days later

the river’s a map of cold islands,

continents floating south to dissolve

in tides of ocean salt.  White masses are bound

by flashes, blue and steel gray,

signs of deep currents running free

below this frozen white way.  At night

the heavens let loose a storm of snow

that softens the river’s stark uneasiness

but cold remains

and grayness of early morning

is slow to lift and let in light.

Late one afternoon

this jumble brightens with  blaze

of peach sunset tinged with mauve,

warm like a chord resolved at last,

warm like a voice that hears

the voice that it loves,

warm like currents unstilled by ice.