Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Snow Queen

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Snow Queen

Article excerpt

I never dream about it. I don't have to.

It happened once and never stopped happening.

Nor did it happen to others, as I thought,

but to me. The evil broke over me

or shards of it flew out with enormous force

like the mirror shattering in the fairy tale

and lodged themselves deep in my eyes and heart,

rendering them uncomprehending ice.

All I saw was a sliver of the story,

a slice of sky over a chasm of buildings

at quarter to nine on a late summer morning

walking north on Madison Avenue.

A silence, or a shadow, made me look up.

It shouldn't have been silent, couldn't have been,

but the moving shadow of the plane

heading southward silenced everything.

Having heard this much you already know

what happened next, but I knew none of it yet,

only that the plane was very large

and flying very low, and I alone

looked up at it. This, too, cannot be true,

but I remember silence and emptiness

and a plane so gray the entire sky was gray,

though it was, as everyone says, a perfect day.

In fairy tales, perspective is everything.

We are never more than half a step ahead

of the protagonist - usually less.

We know the provenance of the shattered glass

that severs the boy, Kay, from his innocence. …

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