All My Flowers

Antarctica


 

I know ice whalebone white

         green and turquoise,


 

milky ice, ice blood-red

when the algae blooms; candle ice, pack ice,


 

pancake ice, and cat ice that glazes

water so thinly a breath would shatter it;

  lolly slush,


 

loose crystals in a salt-water slurry;

young ice and its false maturity.

I know the way fast ice locks on


 

and doesn’t let go;

the gray moire of grease ice, its sheen

of watermarked silk skimming the sea;


 

and fog ice, mists of diamond dust

that cancel skies, that conjure

multiple and dazzling suns,


bounce prisms, throw halos,

suspend a snow field, inverted, in midair.

*

The ice gives birth to ice.

The first filaments of ice mating are frazil ice.


Once it develops and grows muscular

Ice battles ice.

The ice barrage explodes in a din

Of booms, cannonades, cracks loud as rifle shots.


 

And when the ice buries ice

it is entombed with ancient atmospheres.


 

All my hours are ice hours.

All my flowers are ice flowers.

"All My Flowers," by Marion Starling Boyer, published by The Pedestal Magazine, issue #85.

Click on this button to hear an audio of Marion reading her poem.

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