Gone Through

Elizabeth Bradfield
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I have gone through the ice. It was cold.
—David, ice fisherman

Don’t ask stupid questions expecting
some folksy narrative you can glean
poetry from. The water was hard
and it gave way. It broke and widened
as I heaved toward its surface. I’d seen
the TV specials filmed under pack ice—
blue and bubbled. There is no gradual
wetting. There is no entrance.
Only the stupid fumble to get out, heart
trying to pound through its panic,
to warm, it seems, the entire frozen surface
that’s been breached.

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