Today's poem is by Betsey Houghton


Out on the lake, a groan of ice plays
sweet as a cello, a glacial frottage
of bow and string, ice block on ice. . .
a language like whale song —
observations, perhaps, or questions
zinging ice-fingered under my skates.
And back home, the just-stacked
woodpile ticks with the shrinkage
of cellulose, itching of rodent nails
a hundred-fold multiplied as firewood
dries cell burst by cell burst.
The cat knows it's not mice I hear:
it's the backs of new-split logs cracking.
Earth is a roar — like the ultrasound
of a heart. Listen: airbourne laughter,
echoes of old sitcoms — stretto of Lucy
and Ricky; of fire trucks and air horns;
even the unvoiced fricatives and labials
of speech, the pops and breaths of kisses.
Nothing is lost in the cooling of epoch
or season except that our symphony
of want will go, if it goes, unspoken.

Copyright © 2005 Betsey Houghton All rights reserved
from Diner
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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