Ice Baby

by Amy Acre

When I hear what is happening in America I turn back on myself,
crouch on the landing where no light falls and wait for the piglet
in her sniffle to unlung. Like I know the full farmyard of her
discontents and which corn snack to invoke against rainfall, I know
no bailiff is coming to box me in a van, god complex me from her.
No vested blizzard will surprise me on the dawn shift when I’m
slow-eyed and puttyesque. No fat-fisted plucker will pick her from
school for a fresh-painted purgatory to watch other kids crack,
gnawing on chalkends as twilight comes knocking, keeping her cry
for my step. I will not exchange my biography for the role of deterrent.
Her face will grace neither Twitter storm nor petition. She will not
be raised by ghosts and forget the arrangement of my voice.
Her fire will not be quashed under a bleeding flag but over there
they are freezing and the president is so afraid. Over there the children
are freezing, the mothers are freezing, the fathers are freezing,
the supply teachers, the accountants and Uber drivers and poets,
the potwashes and lawyers are freezing, the orphans and stepkids.
Their gloves have gone fuzzy, they are layering their tights and blowing
into each other’s faces. They are drinking white spirit and weeping
into photographs. They are avalanche and they are the climbers
twitching under vast white rock and I look only long enough to
zip up her raincoat and remember this has nothing to do with us.