Last Poem About the Snow Queen
it was that little Gerda walked into the Palace,
to know "love" in all its habitats, wanted
the great gates, in a biting wind...She saw Kay,
knew him at once; she flung her arms round his neck,
him fast, and cried, "Kay, little Kay, have I found you
But he sat still, rigid and cold.
Christian Andersen, "The Snow Queen"
the joints, the parts, the motions, wanted
to be a
scientist of romance: you said
to study everything, go everywhere,
palace in the far north.
you were ready, you'd be careful.
you wore two cardigans, a turtleneck,
cap with jingle bells.
the ice you came, gay as Santa,
and bringing gifts.
the journey was long, so much longer
expected, and the air so thin,
so high and black.
these cold needles, what are these shafts of ice,
on the fourteenth day.
those tracks that glitter overhead?
you came to see was silent,
say "stars" or "snow,"
point south, wouldn't teach survival.
lost your boots, your furs,
were barefoot on the ice floes, fingers blue,
and fusing your eyelids.
know: this is the place
insists on being ice,
insists on breathlessness,
will of the cold is so strong
the stone's desire for heat
into the eye of night.
you do now, little Gerda?
the Snow Queen are one, they're a single
of ice, a throne of silence -
the teeth of winter
last red shred of November.