“Goldilocks Zone” by Dore Kiesselbach

Dore Kiesselbach


After five clear nights below zero we take our
skates to the lake. Scant snow this winter
means unsquare miles shed shine in front
of us, not just the area normally groomed
for the public. Because the surface of
a lake is not still as it freezes we bump
over ripples and ridges and can look
down through the ice to broad, frosted
mushrooms of gas that won’t reach
the surface for months. As our legs
adjust to that knobbiness we look
up more often and longer to trees
beyond the shoreline and the paths
we’ll take through them when leaves
have returned. Autos glint the ring
road and beyond them a city here and
there looks emerald in morning light.
Beneath alternating, parallel grooves
most of the lake remains liquid. When
it sways against its thick roof, an old
child murmurs and groans in her sleep.

Poets Respond
February 26, 2017

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Dore Kiesselbach: “I’ve always loved the term ‘Goldilocks Zone,’ its combination of science and fairy-tale. This week’s discovery of three planets occupying that charmed region around a close-by star inspired me to sketch my own wintertime experience of a world that’s ‘just right.’” (website)

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