The surface is frozen
faulted slate. Creaks like an old
woman pulling herself apart over
A boy sits by
the ice cold river and whittles.
Studies the tacks in the night,
dreaming of an island garden
and trees hanging bruised fruit.
Carves his name in thickest trunk. Breaks off
limb for walking stick.
Next morning the boy’s found.
Woolly mittens and sleeves frozen to a drift
hold his head above water.
from his lip. His tongue is missing.