I placed one bare hand on the ice.
Winter slapped me as the frigid ice rejected the pulse of warm blood flowing through my fingers,
and sent me face first on to the frozen lake.
I placed the hand still wearing a glove on the ice this time.
Using both hands I hoisted myself and retrieved my missing glove.
There I stood alone on a puzzle shaped piece of ice.
I peered across the lake of broken pieces at the people clinging to random chunks.
Others were frailing in the freezing waters as their bodies began to stiffen from hypothermia.
On the shore many watched in horror as some dove in to the frigid waters to save their loved ones in vain.
Despair overwhelmed me as I began to panic.
I closed my eyes and took one deep chilling breath to help calm myself.
A moment within that breath I just knew that when I opened my eyes the lake would be a solid sheet of glass with a hole in it just a few feet away.
My tip up flag would be waving in a light December wind,
and the biggest fish you ever seen on the end of that hook.
My puzzle piece cracked as the icy water bubbled violently above ten inches of shattering ice.
I opened my eyes to the chaos around me.
The screams of desperation echoing.
The frantic efforts to rescue the doomed souls now floating face down or trapped on a shingle of shattering space.
I wanted to move, wanted to help.
I tried to reach out, but it was as if the shingle of ice was crawling up my legs and through my flesh.
I was as solid as stone, staring into the eyes of a tiny child.
Might she be some sort of Medusa.
One glance at her sad little eyes will leave you an ice sculpture.
Through the panic and devastation she stared at me.
Her pink bubble coat unbuttoned and exposing a fire inside her naked chest.
Her little feet blue from standing barefoot on the ice.
She reached for me and just like that she was in my arms.
She never left her ice , or touched the water, yet she was soft and warm in my arms.
I held her tightly and whispered that it would be fine, and she replied.
She did not reply with words
.Instead there were visions.
The lake calmed and the ice melted.
The surface was warm liquid.
The little girl and I stood on the water and watched the flag pop up in the distance.
We both ran across the surface of the water laughing and tugging at each other as we raced to the tip up.
She helped me net the humongous muskie.
A true trophy fish.
I had only dreamed of a trophy like this.
What a fighter he was.
I noticed the child’s look of disappointment and I realized I did not need this trophy fish.
I placed the gigantic trophy below the surface of the lake and watched it swim away.
The little girl smiled, and her voice entered my head.
As the silent lake froze again beneath my feet she told me that I am merely a heart string mending a hole in the tapestry.
I now realize that I cannot shatter the ice or melt into the lake.
I will never save the world,
or conquer death.
Most of all I realize that trophies are worth nothing if you do not cherish the experience that earned them.
The puzzle piece that I now share with this unknown child is giving in to the thunderous quake that now moves all of earth,
but I am not scared because I am wrapped in the arms of the future,
and she is pure burning light.
One day in spring this lake will thaw,
to reveal the bloated bodies of us all.
some faces will be twisted with a parting scream
others will be placid as their souls remain serene
Scientists will research what anomaly happened here
and this beautiful lake will be feared by all
as it turns to ice next year
My remains never to be found
Because for me this is only a dream
But when my day of judgment is abound
my face will be placid, my soul serene.