is a novelty for children
who stand awkward in their jackets
waiting for the school bus.
They lift off thin slabs
to hold up in the early light
like pieces of stained glass.
They run around,
throw them at each other,
lick them, laughing as their pink tongues stick
to the cold, their breath fogging
the morning gray.
Between the Sierras
in the distance and a faint film
of clouds, the sun rises
red like the gills of a salmon.
From your porch, watching the kids,
you love this morning more
than any you remember. You hear
the bus rumbling down the road
like the future, hear the squealing
voices, feel your own blood warm
in your body as the kids sing
like winter herons, Ice, ice, ice.
Photograph: "Ice Formation on a Water Puddle," by Frederic Clery (originally horizontal, black and white).