Marilyn Nelson
Pig on the Ice

                        ca. 1853

After the service, we dutiful few
followed the shouts and laughter to the pond.
All Seneca was out, even the new
German grocer and his four children, blond,
blue-eyed replicas of his ninth-month Frau,
with red cheeks. Brown ladies skated like swans,
crinolines billowing. Brave curliques
cut the smooth ice. Couples held mittened hands.
Runny-nosed brown and pink boys cracked the whip.
Above bare trees, clouds swept across the sky.
Then one of the Murphy’s pigs decided to tip
after the children, slid, and flew sky-high!
Squealing its head off, it skidded and slipped,
toppling brown and white indiscriminately.

Nations of expletives sprang from our lips!