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 was selected as the 2015 Bucks County, PA Poet Laureate by Kim Addonizio and Kasey Jueds. She has four published books: Dread Islands, Kelsay Books, July 2015; Imperfect Matter, WordTech 2013; At the Well of Flowers, VAC 2011; and Foreign Bodies, Carolina Wren Press 2004. On September 27, 2014, Becker’s poem, “A City Girl Feeds Country Cows” was selected and read by Garrison Keillor on Writer’s Almanac. Her poems have appeared in Barefoot Review, Buddhist Poetry Review, Comstock Review, Concrete Wolf, Flesh & Bone, Main Street Rag, Pentimento, Out of Line, Raving Dove, Red Booth Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts, U.S. 1 Worksheets and others.