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What If: A Sestina
By Holly Glenn
Genre: Poetry Level: Adult
Category: UAA/ADN Creative Writing Contest

A petite slice of moon shines little light

On the lake's frozen, pristine ice.

Tiny air bubbles, like microscopic stars

Trapped in blue-black glass.

Snowflakes gently fall and softly sing

as they collide with the frosted land.


She wobbles on skates hoping not to land

Hard when she falls. A glint of light

Reflects the moon on metal blades that sing

As she reclaims balance and glides across the ice.

Her song, etched behind her in cold glass.

Snowflakes gather on her hat - a cluster of fallen stars.


She lets herself feel like one of those movie stars

A gig, she tells herself, she could never land.

If she gazed into that immortalizing glass,

Her eyes would squint in all the light.

Her stage is here. Dark and made of ice.

At her performance, the night itself begins to sing.


Wolves, a hundred, or maybe just four, sing

Howling their own song to the stars.

Echoes of skates scrape fresh ice

Bounce off the snow-cloaked land.

But a bitter mystery lurks in the lack of light.

A silent fracture creeps through fragile glass.


It branches out like tree roots. Weakens the glass.

Oblivious, she is content enough to sing

While she dances in the moon's slim light.

The lake trembles with fear.  The stars

And moon watch helplessly, wishing her back to land.

A warning sounds. Agonizing creaks from wounded ice.


Frozen air pierces her lungs. She races breaking ice.

A hat, the only casualty, floats near shattered glass.

With feet on solid, safe, predictable land

Her thoughts turn to ‘what ifs' that loudly sing

A harsh and unwanted song. The stars

Sigh in relief and the moon shines more light.

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