Any moment the Antarctic Ross ice shelf
can calve an iceberg and melt:
New York gone, Florida,
the whole Atlantic coast.
There are things that take ages
of slow melting to dismantle,
each glacial drop sweats
from its rock-hard mountain of ice.
My father died when I was five
but my dammed grief burst suddenly
upon the white-shirted chest of a stranger
when I was twenty-three.
One casual word, evocative melody,
cinematic scene, enough to nudge
wide open the crack in one’s own grave weight.
How many swelling lakes, how large the quake
to wake a dormant tidal wave? How ready
the two-billion tons to burst that which stands fixed
and frozen in one’s dwindling years?
Sandra Becker’s chapbook, Foreign Bodies, was published Spring 2004 by Carolina Wren Press. Other poems
have been published in the Bucks County Writer, Comstock Review, Concrete Wolf, Flesh & Bone,
Freshet, Mad Poets Review, Rexdale Publishing, Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts,
Out of Line. She was a runner-up in the 2004 Robert Fraser Poetry Contest and recipient of a writing award
from the National League of American Pen Women/Simi Valley Branch, placing first in their 2000 Poetry Contest for
her poem, “Honor the Stones.”
SANDRA BECKER IN THIS EDITION:
POETRY: Ice Ages