big_snow
Ice Angels
by Robin Dawn Hudechek

In the winter we made snow angels
and built igloos from icy bricks
molded in plastic cups.

I never learned to ice skate properly
on sidewalks smeared in patches of ice
and concrete cracks that caught my blades
and sent me crashing to the pavement,
rubbing sore ankles.
I longed for a pond or a river nearby
a frozen-over world I could glide above.
Our snowmen wore the scarves
we should have kept wound around our own necks.

We loved the snow days
and the snow that sparkled at midnight
white as noon. No one watched the
clock when we pulled out our sleds
or crunched through thigh-high
ice drifts, sculptured waves
settling against the banks of our houses.

We loved the cold hard panes of night,
the oak tree limbs chattering in icy cocoons
and snowflakes that clung to our windows
and slid down the glass, long teardrops
of broken wings. Snowflakes, tiny skeletons
of leaves, craved the warmth of houses,
fragile and clueless as moths
drawn to the heat of a warmly lit kitchen.

The whistling steam from my mother’s
ancient teapot waiting to be poured
into mugs and stirred into hot chocolate
called us back into the house.
We pulled off our soggy mittens
from nearly frost-bitten fingers
and prayed the snow flurries and
sheets of ice spreading from street to street
like continents of moving glaciers
would keep us away from school
for one more day.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I grew up in the 70s in East Detroit, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit [now called Eastpointe]. Once or twice a year we had snowstorms that brought snowdrifts and misery to the adults who had to shovel the snow and drive on the treacherous roads. For us children, the snowstorms were magical with snowy nights bright as day, and wonderfully long school-free days in which our only responsibilities were helping our parents shovel snow, and maybe finishing the homework we probably wouldn’t have to turn in the next day.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Big Snow in East Detroit, Michigan (1970s)” found at Flickr.

Evening in Dana Point Harbor

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robin Dawn Hudechek received her MFA in creative writing, poetry from UCI. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications including Caliban, Cream City Review, Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets, Cadence Collective, Silver Birch Press, East Jasmine Review, Hedgerow: a journal of small poems, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, The Camel Saloon, and work forthcoming in Chiron Review. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, with her husband Manny and two beautiful cats, Ashley and Misty. More of her poetry can be found at robindawnh.wordpress.com.