Snow Day with Baby

We make an exploration
of pans—the six inch round I
use for yogurt cake, the bundt

for kahlua pound—fill them
with soapy water and dive
whisks into bubbles, the dog

skittering away. When lunch
time comes, I remember my
father, a revelation

as he turned from the oven
one winter day with plates of
bubbling cheese, and decide to

give my daughter her first taste
of melted Gruyere on toast,
slivers of Pink Lady slid

underneath. That afternoon
we took our skis out onto
the frozen pond, cut wobbly

lines past huts of ice fisher-
men, Dad poking his head in
to ask if they were biting,

the holes in the ice gleaming
with everything they knew. I
followed him across: black trunks

rising out of the banks, and
new houses for sale, windows
still warped with paper sheeting.

Someone—the French? Eskimos?—
must have a word for looking
forwards and back at the same

time. As my daughter tears a
tissue into a hundred
pale snowflakes on the bedroom

floor, I think of the velum
on those windows twisting in
the breeze off the pond. She lays

a scrap on her tongue, smiles at
the knowledge of what she’s done,
and swallows the paper whole.

Keetje Kuipers is the author of two collections of poetry, Beautiful in the Mouth (BOA Editions, 2010) and The Keys to the Jail (BOA, 2014). Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, AGNI, Prairie Schooner, West Branch and Painted Bride Quarterly, among many other journals. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, she is currently an Assistant Professor at Auburn University.