Ice Fishing

Billy Collins

To leave home so early in the morning,
to forsake the warm rooms of furniture,

the mirrors, and the carpeting
running from wall to wall,

just to walk out into the middle
of a cold nowhere

in a wind that can turn your ears to glass,
to be a dark jot in this expanse of ice.

Even the dog stops in her tracks and growls
when she spots them out there

where they are not supposed to be
every man like Jesus standing on

the hardened surface of this lake
or sitting on a wooden crate,

so far away, even from one another,
far away from any need,

only a round hole drilled in the ice,
and once in a while,

a tug on the line,
a small, cold mouth calling from the water below.