And in my living and in my hurt I thought, "I am ice."
Beyond feeling, numb in my work, truly invisible in life.
I am become ice, part of a glacial pain
that moves me slowly toward some portion of the sea
where in my confusion, I will be broken free, to melt,
to be no more in numb and pointless frigidity.

I am become ice, a crystal shard, but shattered free,
thrown from my glacial bed into some northern finger of the sea.
Now adrift, at the mercy of currents, and a hazard to shipping,
until I am become melt. Until I am become a world ocean of tears
and all that was frozen is set free.

Now I see that the ocean of tears is joy,
each hurt is but a wave upon the sea of joy.
The hurts, the terrors, all the pain of living,
well, they are but waves that rise and with a shudder
and a spray of tears are gone.

It was in that ocean that I thought my tears, my grief,
my shame, would lead to some forgotten end,
but it was beneath those churning waves,
where I thought would be a cease to all accumulated pain,
that in my melted state no end, but a world was gained.

Daniel Brewer
South St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

(Present Time No. 110, January 1998)

Last modified: 2016-08-22 02:11:22-07