Dispatch from Hanover, New Hampshire
Mid-February’s here. The president
inaugurated three short weeks ago
just turned the E.P.A.’s reins over to
a climate change denier, Salon laments.
Today’s high: 49 degrees. Ice sculptures
across the Dartmouth Green are melting fast,
limbs snapping off and shattering. Funny that
when temps start rising, ice gets cloudy-colored
as if it thinks, like some postmodern writers,
opaqueness has the power to thwart extinction.
Just yesterday, upon this chiseled gryphon’s
outstretched paw, there perched an owl of ice.
At three years old, I had a vivid nightmare:
my mom was standing at her bedroom window,
lifting the gauzy curtain with one hand so
she could see. The lamp cast golden light where
she lingered on that crisp midwinter evening,
excitedly calling me to come and look:
“You won’t believe this! Right here on our block—
a big ice sculpture! A miracle, all gleaming
beneath the Boughtons’ porch lights….” Rapt, she stared.
But I was mad at her—some childish snit—
and feigned I did not hear her. Dragged my feet.
When I relented, there was nothing there.
Jenna Le, a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, lives and works as a physician and educator in New Hampshire. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Anchor & Plume, 2016). Her poetry has appeared in AGNI Online, The Best of the Raintown Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review, and Massachusetts Review. Her website