Icicles lined the gutters of our house
in New York farm country.
Sometimes they reached the snowbanks below
thick as our arms half buried there.
We plucked them and sucked them
until our lips turned blue,
so numb we couldn’t form our words.
In those days winter arrived early,
stayed for months.
We had sword fights,
our ice blades fused to our mittens
as we merged with the cold unheeding.
We knocked them down with snowballs,
smashing holes in the line
like a TV prison cell breakout
setting free our screams of triumph
when a whole wall came splintering down.
Here near the Salish Sea winter
makes an evanescent visit—
a week in February
when winds from the Fraser Valley
swoop down upon us—
it lasts just long enough for a single icicle
to form outside my window,
rainwater dripping and freezing
to make its point.
— from Juniper Volume 7, Issue 2