Nothing becomes of ice now, except water
vapor. Children in bright coats play
at the corners of a prayer. The end of faith:
skipping one phase of being to enter
another. Children woven from want.
Becoming snowfields. I rise & walk
out onto the frozen field. Snow
emits a hush as it falls. Then, silence.
The hares, scarce in this cold.
I am trying to find myself inside
my body. Relentless, the hoarfrost.
There was a time when a family
was all I had. But the deer
my father shot down in the woods
wouldn’t feed us for a whole winter.
My brother, turning to fog as he failed
to eat. In a cryosphere, specific pressure
systems allow us to cry. For tears
not to freeze before they fall. Last night,
I dreamt our father lived inside
my brother. Secret bloom. The heart
of a phenomena. A deer arrived
as though sensing their hunger. Ice
fields trapped by fog. When I woke,
the fog had become the field. Ice
breaking in the shadow of a deer.
Chelsea Dingman’s first book, Thaw, was chosen by Allison Joseph to win the National Poetry Series (University of Georgia Press, 2017). Her second poetry collection, Through a Small Ghost, won The Georgia Poetry Prize (University of Georgia Press, 2020). She is also the author of the chapbook, What Bodies Have I Moved (Madhouse Press, 2018). Visit her website: chelseadingman.com.