First you hear the sharp crack of winter
splitting itself from itself. Then you hear the screams,
your brothers on the shoreline safe, frantic,
transforming into heroes. Then, silent, the quiet
underwater, the silence of a winter lake.
Amazing when you’re eight.
Falling through the ice, it happens suddenly and slowly.
You watch it all from a distance, like peering
around the corner late at night,
spying on your parents, on a separate life.
You think you’d like to spend more time down there,
search for creatures slowly breathing, hibernating, look
for the secret place turtles retreat to in the cold.
Find a place to sleep away your life.
But instead, you yell, you reach for the surface, hold
on to the jagged edge marking your path down. Hold on,
hold on, they call. They toss themselves onto the ice,
reaching, lashing you with their love.
Debra Revere is a Research Scientist and Clinical Faculty working in the field of biomedical and public health informatics at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She is widely published in her research field which focuses on understanding the information needs of public health. Debra has been writing poetry since she was 9 years old. Her first poem was published in the Lawrenceville Elementary School newspaper, an ode to the Easter Bunny. She lives in Seattle.