My mother must have wanted us 

            by accident

to trust our luck on ponds

            Of her own free will 

she took the trouble of us

            buckled in boots

down her long driveway of dirt

            crossing the cow pasture

she hiked her tribe over hard 

            humps of snow-free field –

She must have wanted

            a body of cold not to crack 

but hold us – without sacrificing                   

            even one to catastrophe

on untended ice, flawless and ours 

            alone to ruin

Kneeling on dry weeds, crushed –

            her raw un-mittened fingers 

wrenching off our rubber boots

            pushing so many socked feet

into rigid skates, her fingers 

            stinging as if we'd bitten

She kept lacing up and lacing – 

            swore a little – under our wool 

socks, snow suits (her hand-knit mittens) 

            we felt so much

frost needled aching we whined

            stumbled, shouted – our trim legs 

rubbered with strain, skin gooed with sweat

            under layers, faces 

hot pinked with chill, skating ‘til we couldn't 

            feel any organ of our over-heated 

bodies, my mother must have wanted us 

            giddy, winging, weightless – 

for hours, hours until dusk




\ ' fä- t͟hər  \


a noun, great wave

surging mass, a verb, he rolls in

puffs us up, as by wind


date of birth: his was 

raw, a gust, like today –

Sun will rise:   Sun will set: 


trees will blow leafless

on top of Pine Hill – look 

a big enough hole


we  opened, 

we emptied 

his ashes    then, out 


from under his cloud – children 

grown from his weather – we sink

boots, into earth, churned 


creamy with rain, here is thunder 

and crack, like it’s a command  –

                                    rise    roil    scatter


Kelly DuMar is a poet, playwright and workshop facilitator from Boston. She’s author of two poetry chapbooks, All These Cures (Lit House Press) and Tree of the Apple (Two of Cups Press). Her poems, prose and photos are published in Bellevue Literary Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Crab Fat, Storm Cellar, Corium, and many more.