Thin Ice

by Sarah Goughnor

On walks home from school in the wintertime,
the creek would be frozen over where the water sat still,
and I would go figure skating in hand-me-down sneakers.
I set down my backpack by the trunk of a tree,
and gingerly slid the tip of my foot
out over the delicate ice to find where was solid.
My feet would glide over the glossy ripples
in the frozen water, and around the tips
of rock jutting up from the ice.
Where the surface was melted and fractured,
one foot would plunge into the slushy water,
drenching my shoe, soaking into my sock
and dripping out with every sodden step,
leaving faded prints on the sidewalk.
In my mind, each misstep was no more than a fluke,
and I kept walking on thin ice just by believing I could.


Sarah Goughnor is from Herndon, Virginia. She is currently majoring in Creative Writing at Old Dominion University. Her poem “Thin Ice” was the Undergraduate Winner in the Old Dominion University 2011 College Poetry Prize contest. Her poem “Mango” received an Honorable Mention.