POEM: Ice gong Stockbridge Bowl

A winter's day at Stockbridge Bowl.

Ice gong Stockbridge Bowl

Tucked in to a curve of the gold shore, out of the wind, breasting the lake.
Here the play of ice, water, sun,

flight of needled shadows sweeping pale stones

dash of water rippling across ice.

In this I am warm.


Beneath the tall hemlocks

it’s a Sheltie, black and white

jumping at me

claws sharp and cold.

I know the woman who holds the leash


And because it’s so cold

and my hands are bare

I sink both hands into the dogs fur.

The dog rolls onto my hands

melts, as if to say

I want nothing so much as you.


What I heard was ice.
“WHOMP” across the taut drum of the lake, shuddering, recovering. And then
“Clonk” or was it “Clang” ever so faint and low
chunk of ice jostled by waves.
I think it was the ice gong ringing.

Tammis Coffin
January 13, 2017