December 10, 2009


where boys tried to lean
into a nipple if you walked
thru the thick wet leaves
of Frog Alley where tourists
sip cappuccino on the wrought
iron chairs. When, finally,
someone asked me to dance
he tried to put his tongue
in deep, his fingers past my blue
dress dotted with rhinestones
near where we bowled on New
Year's Eve and Sylvia, the tall
elegant woman told me later
I had lovely skin. From the
bridge at Otter Creek, the old
marble mill grew rivulets
of ice, like bars, as if to cage
the cold, the frozen spiders.
Someone buried marbles
ground to dust past the college
spires, the last thing the girl
with a baby growing in
her saw flashing by as she
jumped into the whirlpool’s
icy logs. Some nights I
was sure I could hear her
moaning as the falls crashed,
spit ice up to Main Street
and I ran, as if the crush of
cold froth was a lure

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:


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