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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 5 Number 5, 1975.

The Freeze Michael Schmidt

We can't sleep tonight. The ice has formed -
from thin skin at evening
to deep stone. With midnight
the boat's aground in it.
Planks shriek against the hardening.

Below deck a film of frost pales everything.
Our breath makes beads of ice. We pace
between the hatch and bunks.
The world would end by ice
tonight, for sure, if we lay down.

Come outside: the wind has sculpted
sails to marble drapery;
on the line our laundry freezes to
a rigor-mortis of our bodies' clothes.
Night will hardly darken all this glass -

the stars are treble on its rippled plane.

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