Pier-lipped ferris wheel spins
its sparks lighting
Jack and I alone
in the afternoon
on this icy
Our fathers
work sawdust-filled
dad’s hands cut
up and stuck by
twisted saw blades, flack
of maple lodged
sharp in the V
between index and
fuck you finger.

It’s Jack and I
here and
a single ancient
cleaves through
Lake Michigan’s
sleeping fish
beneath spat
with frail rays
of sun
by the steel-gray
ceiling of water.

Our mothers
at home wash pots
to rust,
watch the day
turn from

ash To
dark ash,
school speared dead
by Midwest winter’s
midnight sheet.

Now we watch
the last slake
of moored boat’s
hull pinched

Now we listen
to mid-lake
swells where
water splits
winter’s coat
and joins

Now we hear
the ice break
and this
tiny ocean is
a dirty
window pane,

so when
we stare
at the water
we stare
at the clouds
and the sparrows
beneath them

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GRADY CHAMBERS is a recent graduate of Vassar College, where he studied political science and creative writing. He was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where he currently works and writes. Previous work of his can be found at Blood Lotus Journal and The Rumpus.

One response to “Winter Afternoon, Lake Michigan”

  1. chambersbiggestfan says:

    this is a beautiful poem. please publish more from this very talented young poet.

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