First of January

Not a sound across the land
when I step off the shore
onto the frozen band
of the river clamped like ore.
A clean break. The light
is sharp and cold and new.
The houses dwindle from sight,
the cars are far and few.
and as I skate and veer
out to the small island,
saddled on my shoulders
riding the troughs and rollers
is a child, tiny and silent,
carried over from last year.

from Waves and Trees (Gallery, 2006), © Justin Quinn 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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