A Plutonian Wink

Clint Smith

February’s final daybreak is at hand.
A circumambient, newborn blanket blue
lays over the subtle cadence of farmland
desperately trying to rock itself back to sleep.

As nightlight wanes, a weathervane creaks.
On the other side of the frozen field—across snow
buried furrows, a taper flickers in a kitchen window.
On the other side of the frozen field—a Plutonian wink.

This gray strand stitched in my rural lining
leads to work, and will take me home again
under similar light. Familiar: this diurnal design in
both path & pattern, with the exception

of this morning’s anomaly: black rocks floating on the lake
whose shore (for a few hundred yards, give or take)
chafes my road. A few icy inches have grown thin
enough to once more permit the surface affection

for distorted reflection; likewise
sound and true to the stone’s illusion.
An illusion—most likely
thrown by kids
is my amused conclusion as my eyes avoid

the struck pup lying in the ditch: leashless—a bleached femur
gripped between what I conceive to be
a peaceful, sleepwalk smile. My story for her:
she’s still dreaming of fire-filled hearths and loyalty.

Her thoughts cling through the crosscut
As my internal diversion passes back
to rejoin those imagined mittens rooting
along the fleeting rime for rocks
unable to grasp (at first) before visible laughter: a dissipating puff.

Toward the middle of the day the icy lining will give way,

releasing these rocks with the ease of moth-eaten terry cloth,
to meet others in the green glow quarry—dropping,
landing with an echo more subdued and more profound
than the sound of clinking copper.


Clint Smith lives in Indianapolis and is an Honors Graduate fromThe Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, Le Cordon Bleu, and is currently the Chef Instructor in the Culinary Arts Department at Central Nine Career Center.  Clint is a two time winner in the “Best Of Poetry” category for IUPUI’s arts and literary journal, GenesisTableTalk—Clint’s weekly food and restaurant column—can be seen every Wednesday in the Indianapolis Star’s TASTE section.   When he’s not teaching, writing and cooking, Clint enjoys abating Chaos by raking leaves and reading himself to sleep.