A Thing that Melts by LeAnn Bjerken

As a child I stubbornly believed in magic
and kept my snowman in the freezer
cryogenically preserved

Like Frankenstein I’d wanted to remake him
fill out his melting insides with next year’s snow

But he began to seem so small
broken down in zip lock bags
His head beside the venison
His bottom sections icing corn and string beans

I started to think of him as dead
a body hidden in the ice

While peeking at him sometimes
I swear I saw his stick limb move
twitching under tiny game hens
shifting processed meat

It was after the beets leaked their juices
that he began to fall apart
pink crystals on his cheeks

So I brought the body bags out to the sidewalk
watching magic melt
leaving twig arms and rock eyes
to soak in a puddle

I missed him when he’d gone
Began to think I saw him in the window frost
or standing in the fog

I started to see his name in cooling cubes
in swirls of ice cream
in thawing chicken thighs

So I checked the freezer again
thinking I’d left a piece of toe, an eyebrow,
a frozen lung

But all I found was beet blood
dark circles of pain
that had melted into everything


LeAnn Bjerken first began writing poetry as a young girl growing up in Minnesota. Her poems tend to be short, free verse, no punctuation. Many of her pieces are self reflective, trying through objects or people to reveal something more about a moment in time.

LeAnn graduated with an MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University in June 2014, and now works as a reporter for the Tribal Tribune. She currently lives in Grand Coulee, Washington with her husband Steve, and their cat Tikki.

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