Take this ball of broken ice sheets
heaped like glass plates at Hampstead Heath.

The murky river still and the red stone arches
of the bridge looming above. This fragile sphere

speaks in surprising crackles, hints at
settling into fallen leaves and river pebbles.

White ice breaks with some coaxing,
but often lightnings apart in erratic jags—

its brittleness registered in emphatic strokes.
The protest and startle as it melts and freezes

itself together, while the sun
shifts slowly behind cloud cover.

The river creeps, stacked ice sheets
shift with the slightest shiver—

such aliveness, its halting chatter.