Today's poem is by Jo Ann Clark
Une Lettre de la Mer de Glace
I have escaped the Mesopotamian heat
this holiday in an off-season ski condo
belonging to parents of a friend. No one
you know. Son and spouse are with me
delighting in the cool. We are happy.
We live under a mountain whose glacier,
by precipitous alpine degrees,
retreats under the friction and weight
of August snow. By day the glacier reflects
the bright sunlight, absorbing enough blue
to melt the minute transgressions it made
the night before. By night it reflects
the red, angry face of Mars, astronomically
close, bearing down. All this liquid
motionmountain and glacierand yet
you'd swear the two were frozen there.
With whom are you taking vacation?
Anyone I know? What news of our father's
dire business? We play a game around here
which we take, for our separate reasons,
very seriously: every morning before
hoisting the heavy blind that covers
the sliding glass door that is our picture
window onto this Sea of Glass, we ask
Is it still there? The glacier? Its mountain?
Every morning it is there, feigning
immobility as the boy's awful apprehension
gives way to glee, his laughter all
but drowned out by the calamitous
runoff cascading down
the mountain as his father and I join in,
laughing in relief. We are still here. I cannot
answer your question because you pose
the wrong one, and so few. Besides there's
nothing, apart from this formidable scenery
and some whitening lies, amiss or new.
Copyright © 2012 Jo Ann Clark All rights reserved
from Colorado Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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