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Patriotic Poem

The cold makes me
a lair from fear
places a pillow of
downy drift
under my head
a blanket of snow
to swaddle me in

I’d lay my ear to
the cracking of the ice
in the hope of hearing it
retreat
if I didn’t know
I’d be frozen fast

The ice lets no one go

My country
a spread deathbed
my initials stitched
on the icy linen

“Ættjarðarljóð" © Gerdur Kristný. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2011 by Victoria Cribb. All rights reserved.