The Ice Queen, by Jeanna Paden

My hair freezes to the ground before they find me

Momma chokes on the steam, pours warm water

into the frozen mud around me

my brother stomachs the fullness of silence

waiting for the operator

what is your emergency?

I am, I am, I am

a December chalk outline

dirty water swirling underneath the pull

of winter’s moon

an empty space for good boys

who take my body

turn skin to frozen lake

like witchcraft, like backseat

fumbling me out

onto the hard dirt, into dawn

in one night I become

an ice castle body

my brother finds lying on the lawn

Published 10th January 2019

About Jeanna Paden

Jeanna Paden is a writer and educator from Tennessee. Her poems have been published in Foothill: A Journal of Poetry, The Bookends Review, and Ink & Nebula. Her work has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets anthologies. You can connect with her on Twitter at @JeannaPaden.