No Ice
by Gail Denham

Christmas two days away and no ice
on the creek. Mornings, sister Sue and I
dash to the porch, hoping…hoping…

The creek still flowed. Aspens still glowed
yellow, standing guard over the creek, as if
doing their best to keep the creek warm.

We longed to dig out ice skates, paw through tubs
for gloves and scarves, shush through snow, build
a fire on the creek bank, ice skate till our cheeks
were bright red, roast marshmallows.

Phooey. Winter wasn't coming. What was
Christmas without bushes covered with
white stuff and ice on the creek?

Christmas came and went—no ice. no snow.
No Christmas miracle of ice skating. The sun
shone brighter than our tree lights. We played
outside in shirt sleeves while the goose roasted.

New Year's Eve was lively with lots of family.
At last the aspens shed leaves, a good sign.
Next morning was so quiet. Family was still asleep.

Extra quietly, I crept downstairs, careful not to wake
anyone. Outside, trees sagged with ice. I couldn't hear
the trickling water. Still in pajamas, I ran to the creek.

Frozen! Stomping and sliding, I shouted for Sue.
Soon I realized my feet felt like heavy, icy rocks.
I didn't care. We had ice. A New Year's miracle.

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