The Hum of Traffic

poetry from robert c. miller

Month: April, 2013

Breaking Ice, Back Tomorrow

Through the gusting of the Lake

we climbed slow waterfalls of rock,

choosing the long way,

our hearts quivering and trembling to forget

the coldness of never-knowing

through childhood games and idle adventure,

only to circle back on ourselves

in search of the darkest corners, hidden

in lake-drenched stone.


Fishing for portraits of the puddles’

faceless faces, we clutched at sheets of ice,

barely able to peer through the blurred panes

we squinted through bubbles of trapped air

and started at our young faces,

warped and bent through the frozen water.

In shock we forget what we saw

and dropped the slats of ice

to rock, to shatter like glass.


After it we left, the ringing of the frozen

sheets breaking echoed in our ears and in bed,

we lay restless, as the ice left behind

silently melted and froze anew.

Asking us about what hides in puddled shadows

of eroding rock and fallen trees and freshwater spray.

To grasp a truth is holding memories

I cannot know after

breaking ice, back tomorrow.




How Can I be More Like the Sandhill Cranes

who were, like me, also born in the sandy counties

of central Wisconsin, but carry a piece of tundra beneath their wing.


Who move like they know the land

flying their annual pilgrimage for that privilege.


Caught with open wings we found them,

necks stretched outcurved back and forward


again, dignified and stark lines, now escaping, writing

we know precisely what we are doing here


across the horizon. These cranes attend to the business of living

elsewhere, but once a year follow cryptochromes


without the guilt of leaving home behind.

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