THE FROGMORE POETRY PRIZE 2015

Catherine Edmunds

ICE-JAM

The brooks are frozen, airports closed,
I turn on the radio, water come pouring out,
tepid, shorting itself in a matter of seconds.
The electrician is out of contact, crossing
a stream on a pig with no name, seeking a serious
tempest of mountains. I remember
the Helsinki Bus Station theory and stay
on the train, riding the current to Omaha.

We disappear in the dead of winter,
our songs remain mayflies and cannot
be heard. You were right, my dear, even
when you were mad, when the attic
room was rich with soft light.

Of the thirteen ways to love you,
I mastered seven, when out of the blue
I remembered my father playing football, and me,
a girl, deciding that when I grew up
I would be a boy, beloved of many a waitress.
I am old, Father Henry, with too many
layers of paint, I live in a shoe. The day needs
plasterers, boluses, hymns. We used to camp
on the way to Maine to watch ice-jams and saints,
the best of times and the shittiest.


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