by Kelley Jean White
My father and I on our knees beside
the lake, Winnipesaukee, April first
nearly ice out, eighteen inch-deep chunks drive
against shore. We plunge in hands to our wrists.
My father and I stand atop Gunstock
our breath taken by more than December
cold, there is a brilliance, light lit, unlocking
ice from a thousand branches. We tremble,
take flight on our skis. He is an expert.
We crawl on our knees across the frozen
pond. Darkness, spotted by bubbles unburst
for half a dozen months, he has chosen
to teach me this, but I do not learn it.
He will die. I will not hear him. Cold lips.