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Cheney Lake in Winter
by Jodi Drinkwater

Two winters ago, He lead me down
onto the ice at Cheney reservoir, so silent
and lovely our breath crystallized.
The sky a steel grey, and snow scattered
out over the water. The ice a foot thick easy,
and J.D. and I together. We picked our way a half mile
onto the lake over the frozen waves jutting.
Out on the lake he wrote
my name into the ice with his pee.
I drew a puddle while he held me
under my arms. The sky so numb
only a few winter birds traipsed
onto the ice, and a hawk in a tree
looked out over the frozen water.
We walked on, and J.D. remembered
ten years since the lake had frozen,
though we’d had bitter weather
every winter I remembered.
But he knows about the weather,
recalls a day by the kinds
of clouds there were, by the direction
of the winds. After he brushed away
the snow, I looked down into the cold
lake to see if I could see something there—
perhaps fish swimming. What was there
was a glacial blackness. Then the hawk
burst from the iced tree by the edge
of the lake and flew far out
over the park and away, leaving us
together there on the ice
stunned and watching in the cold.