The Ice Maiden
Carol Cross

Everything about was white,
glistening and shining; so shining
that the human eye could hardly
bear the radiance.
The Dreamer of Dreams
Queen Marie of Rumania, 1915

In what secret ritual have I caught you?
You stare, startled bird, from the canvas.
Your mantle of fallen stars only hints at warmth.

I see coldness in your eyes, emptiness in your heart.
Your hands carry a lump, whose heat escapes
cupped palms, to spatter red at your feet.

Flanked by white bears, your escort to feasts unknown,
you wander barefoot across icy tundras under midnight stars.
Twinkling lights your way through this night which never ends.

Whose heart is your burden?

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The 2River View, 1_2 (Winter 1997)