Today's poem is by Allison Funk

The Escape Artist in Winter

I'm under it again, that foot of ice.
No headroom. On me, the weight of a house.

This winter's hard as the year the river froze over,
that December they bore a hole

the size fishermen cut for their bait,
then lowered me down, bound hands and feet.

Wouldn't you think I'd free myself fast,
seeing through the lens just above me

the faces I'd left?
But I'd imagined death as a spaciousness

I hadn't known on earth, another element—
not water exactly or air.

I wanted to float there. The spirit, though—
it lists toward the light, poor trapped one

with me under a layer of ice. For her
I fought the current sucking at me like a child,

all the time wanting to open my mouth,
wanting to drink, swallow the murky liquid I was in.

But I chewed at my bindings instead,
remembered how to breathe without air,

and we swam toward the surface
she and I, as if finned,

as if there were a school of us.
We were a multitude.

Copyright © 2009 Allison Funk All rights reserved
from The Tumbling Box
C&R Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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