Featured Poet: Midge Goldberg, Derry
Midge Goldberg's first book of poetry, Flume Ride, was published by David Robert Books in 2006. Her poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor's "A Writer's Almanac" and Verse Daily, and has been published in such journals as Measure, First Things, Dogwood, Alehouse 2008, The Atlanta Review, and the British journals Cadenza and Candelabrum. Her poetry has been included in several anthologies, including Rhyming Poems, the Powow River Anthology, European Romantic Poetry, and The 2008 Poets' Guide to New Hampshire. She received the first MFA granted by University of NH and has taught poetry at Chester College of New England and at the Institute of Art in Manchester, NH. She is a web and software developer, and currently maintains several poetry websites for various poets and poetry magazines. She lives in Derry with her two children and two rambunctious kittens.
Of her featured poem, Midge writes:
Having grown up in Florida, I have never become comfortable with stepping out onto a frozen lake up here in New Hampshire. No matter how thick people tell me the ice is, no matter if I see giant pickup trucks driving out onto a lake, I still always have this irrational fear that the ice will break right where I am, and I will fall through and be trapped beneath. Every year I conquer my fear and walk out on the lake by my house for the thrill of looking back to the beach where we swim each summer, and it seems a sort of magic to me. But I'm always amazed at how no one else around me seems to notice that we could perish at any moment! One year, watching some fisherman blithely go out on the lake, and then seeing some geese be as tentative as I was, got me thinking about possible metaphors of the frozen lake and how we think about it.
Walking On Ice
Foot traffic on the lake’s increasing lately.
The fishermen are out without a boat,
Building fires and drilling holes sedately
In the only thing that’s keeping them afloat.
Some folks are skating, measurers who know
The thickness of the thing, the hard and soft
Of it. They don’t mistake the ice and snow
For something magic keeping them aloft.
The only ones unsure out here are geese,
Who clamor cautiously onto the lake.
The fact that they can fly gives them no peace—
Their wing-and-prayer approach to what might break
Recalls what lies beneath, how footing changes,
How pressure builds and cracks and rearranges.
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