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The Ice Story

I’ve been watching the waters freeze over. Not minute by minute—day by day, first, barely perceptible, a thin film on a cove of Farrar Pond, planes of faint solid crazed like wrinkled plastic wrap, after a night that didn’t seem cold enough. I doubted my senses, and then looked again the next morning. No illusion, no confusion, that is ice forming on Farrar Pond, looking less like a flimsy film, more like something that I could imagine a coyote running across eventually. By the third day, a gull was standing right on the ragged edge of the forming ice, twenty yards from the shore.

It only took two nights and one day of below-freezing temperatures to ice up the edges of the Sudbury River. I am surprised and a little confused by the dozens of ducks packed wing to wing in the small open water of the main current. How can it be? I haven’t started to wear a hat yet, and even the running waters are freezing.

The seeps on the cut rock face above the north side of Route 2 have frozen so hard that, after two rainy days of 50 degrees and two nights that don’t dip below 40, they show no sign of diminishing.

I walked, once, around White Pond in the springtime, picking up chunks of the thawing ice. I learned that they freeze in tall columns of crystals, easy to fracture if I threw them hard against a larger plain of ice. But if they had been through a little thaw and then frozen up again, the columns of ice were bonded so tightly that no amount of smashing would separate them. I imagined that relationships might be a little like that and wrote a short story of two lovers, early in their time together, still brittle, breaking up over a game of Scrabble

There was a time when our lives might have depended on knowing about how the waters froze. Somewhere in me, that time lives on, makes me notice, wonder, tell the story.

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About Katherine Power

I didn’t set out to be a terrorist. As a student activist, I moved from protesting the war in Viet Nam to waging guerrilla war to overthrow the government….

Recent and Upcoming Appearances and Publications
1/15/2014 Complexity and Social Change, Occupy Radio
10/31/2013 Surrender, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
10/25/2013 Surrender, Taos Community Theater, Taos, NM

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