a door pushed open
and little men,
Tomten-like, marched in.
They filed by,
one by one, and sat
against the wall, stared
at you and me as if this were
some kind of Norwegian
pow wow.
Quietly, without any
fanfare or flourish
they held up
short little wands
and waved them
in front of our noses.
Caught in the light,
ice crystals flashed,
although not truly visible.
I did not feel the cold,
yet I began to shiver.
You seemed to shrink,
to look distant—
as if a wide chasm
were forming between us
while the Tomtens began to talk
in a very strange language
and ours changed too.
I wanted to be able
to move, to beat up
the little guys
with their ice sticks
and you,
but I was now
in a deep cave
turning into a stalagmite
and you a stalactite,
and the children, the space

Published, Whistling Girls and Cackling Hens, Sandra Larson, Pudding House Chapbook Series, 2003