To shuffle boots in snow, link
letters with feet. Line frosted notes
for the above, readable only while high
in flight. Years ago, when I was pre-tween
I wrote on lake ice, scooted Sorels
from letter to letter, below a cloudless
winter's sky. I wrote, HI UP THERE
and HELP, THE FISH ARE FROZEN
or LAND HERE and I ♥ BOBBY
the boy with the curls. My audience
was birds—bewildered chick-a-dees,
lost geese, late ducks hanging
out for the holidays, and jets
from the airbase hours away
that circled and screeched, wrote back
in return just loops of foreign cursive—doodles
frozen fish could not answer.
But that 10-year-old girl, rural and quiet,
thought: there, finally, contact.
I thought about starting a snow writing group on Lake Superior. But even though the lake is immense and, after January, there is plenty of room for us writers to scoot our own boots in the snow-make letters into words, words into phrases—I'm still fairly certain the fiction writers would steal ice-space from the poets. And then there would be some sort of wordy snow war right there on the lake. And I just don't think we should disrespect Lake Superior like that. That lake, it breathes.