Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ice Crystals

Photo from wikimedia

My grandson shows me how it works— hold the can six inches from the window and spray.

A frost appears,
just like Jack Frost painted
years ago
on the windows in our big drafty house with single-paned windows that let in every puff of winter's breath,
funhouse windows that provided a waved and bubbled view
of Quarry Road and the houses across the way.

Icy fronds and furls etched in delicate ice
glinted pink with the first rays of a December morning sun
as we dreamed of faraway snowy places like Russia,
and the Snow Maiden and Silverhoof.

Sometimes the ice would be thick
at the bottom of the window,
mounded in ribs like a frozen tree trunk
spreading into branches with icy fern foliage
until finally it was only a thin sheet of clear ice
that we licked with warm red tongues,
or melted with our fingertips,
lifting off in pieces with fingernails to eat,
delighted at the taste of winter
and frozen window grime.

The can of spray in my hand lists directions,
but nowhere on the lable does it mention
how to dream of Russia, ice ferns or magic.

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