When the boys came back with a disk of ice
prised from the mouth of a water-butt,
they’d taken turns with its slippery weight
across the hills and down towards the house:

a riot shield, a lighthouse lens, a wheel
from the Snow Queen’s chariot, the shed skin
of the moon, a puddle closed for business,
the plug of a polar fishing-hole,

a sequin from a glacier’s wedding train,
a rune, a superhero’s hover-board,
a cymbal, a baffle, an almost-naught,
a store-house of one summer morning’s rain,

a keyless portal to the underworld,
a coin to toss to choose between weathers,
a cataract, a long-playing record
of all the sound that water ever made.

In truth, we were afraid we could not think
what we should make of it, and turned away
and busied ourselves so as not to see
the hours and hours it took to come to nothing.

from Take This One to Bed
(Valley Press, October 2016)