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Thin Ice

by Sarah Goughnor

  • On walks home from school in the wintertime,
  • the creek would be frozen over where the water sat still,
  • and I would go figure skating in hand-me-down sneakers.
  • I set down my backpack by the trunk of a tree,
  • and gingerly slid the tip of my foot
  • out over the delicate ice to find where was solid.
  • My feet would glide over the glossy ripples
  • in the frozen water, and around the tips
  • of rock jutting up from the ice.
  • Where the surface was melted and fractured,
  • one foot would plunge into the slushy water,
  • drenching my shoe, soaking into my sock
  • and dripping out with every sodden step,
  • leaving faded prints on the sidewalk.
  • In my mind, each misstep was no more than a fluke,
  • and I kept walking on thin ice just by believing I could.

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