When the Solid Gives Way

An image of cracked ice.The dog trotted onto the frozen pond to fetch an errant stick. That is how I picture it, at least. The boy trudging along the snow packed shore. The arc of the stick against crystalline sky. The dog tracking its path, eager paws scrambling. The bounce of the stick—once, twice—spinning and spinning. The dog’s oblivious disregard of depth and strength and gravity. I picture the boy’s measured steps forward, hands outstretched like the blind. Imagine the plunge into needle-fingered cold. Heavy boots. Heavy coat.
Later, the dog came back alone. Sodden and shivering, fracturing our lives like ice.

Kathleen Latham lives outside of Boston, Mass., with her husband and an ornery cat. She can be found online at KathleenLatham.com.

Photo Credit: Jon Anderson

15 Responses to “When the Solid Gives Way”

  1. detour says:

    being someone who walks on frozen lakes (and living in a land of lakes and cold) whenever I can this story sent a chill through me – great story

  2. Michelle Robinson says:

    Sob. I felt this.

    Read it twice to make sure I understood. Impressive. You conjured deep emotions with so few words.

  3. Izzy Tiberio-Perez says:

    Love this story

  4. Patricia Ball says:

    I love this piece and this writer.

  5. Joan McKinnon says:

    gut wrenching. Like your writings, Kathy.

  6. Shauna says:

    Captures well that in an instant, life is forever changed.

  7. Felix says:

    My dog did this once. Luckily, the ice didn’t break and he came when I called him.

  8. Tony Press says:

    This is beautiful, and so full of sorrow, too.
    Great story.

  9. Caitlyn says:

    love this.

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