Snow Holds

by Anastasia Stelse

Because I am visiting home,
I shovel snow
pregnant with more
than the average moisture
as it whites out the world,
houses merely mountains,
houses the peaks of Swiss Alps
where lies a castle carved
from so much ice—a glacier
like my grandparents’ fountain,
dug by Grandpa and his brothers
in their well-digging days
and stacked with stones that moss
and ice cling to easily. Once,
when the snow-globing stopped,
roads barely drivable,
there we were, Maria and I
in snowsuit onesies
building an igloo along the side
of the house on Big Spring Drive
and warming our faces
against the fluffed air
from the dryer vent.
Grandpa came outside packed
in a puffy coat to get the mail,
the tip of his fingers glowing,
sending smoke signals.
It was the first time we caught him.
We spoke in whispers.
Invisible in snow. The vent
melting the floor of our fort.
It is warm now, too.


Anastasia Stelse is a native of southeastern Wisconsin, the former assistant editor for The Intentional, and a graduate from the MFA program at American University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in creative writing at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fairy Tale Review, New South, Sou’wester, and Meniscus, among others.

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