Breakup in the Northern Hemisphere

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Breakup in the Northern Hemisphere

A Sight of Wonder and Danger


Photo byPriscilla Du Preez onUnsplash


In early spring, the melting on the mountain tops

commences its work.

Springs from droplets start to appear from rocky ledges

and flow down to the river below.

Breakup is coming.

Under the layer of frozen ice, the water flows

to its inevitable destination below

with larger tributaries.

This is a sign of spring coming in a flash or 

in a slower conversion

Far north rivers are highways during winter

and unpredictable come spring.

Crossing can be unlikely even deadly.

Becoming a source of freshwater, easily taken.

It is a crystalline source of brilliance with layer upon layer

refracting light, making prisms for sunlight to pass.

The air is bright and clean with humid enhancements.

Large rocks are worn down by steady flow.

Boats can be hung up, and not move.

Dripping water freezes to icicles, 

a jagged wonder; destructive to boats,

and unstable to anyone crossing on foot.

The depth of the ice is often unknown and treacherous

without constant testing telling its stability.

The thawing will be fast or slow depending on 

changes to weather, winds, and water flow.

There may be flooding of cabins along riverfronts

and large logs and tree branches swept toward shore,

or into oncoming boats, trapped 

without notice in the great melt.

Further down, the river the water rises, leaving behind

washed and broken rock which eventually lies bare.

As the spring comes, leaving a bed of large boulders and 

smaller stones, a rock collector’s dream.

Small saplings started from drifting seeds grow

inadvertently along the bank as do the bushes

becoming buffalo berries later in the year.

Spring is finally here. 



Shirley Langton 2020


Submitted: November 25, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Shirley M. Langton. All rights reserved.

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