Ice and Fire

Matthew Thiele
Jul 19, 2022
Simon Jaques Rochard, “Lady Smith and Her Children.” Public domain courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The day Natalie left for Charleston,
Max sketched the scene on the sidewalk in chalk.
He frowns as he waves goodbye,
his arms arching over his head like weeping willow branches.
The car is drawn small,
as if it is far away.
That night I was afraid of the dark,
and I jumped at minute noises.

The next day Max and Charlotte painted happy faces
on the computer before I sent them to nap.
I mowed the lawn
while the kids played peacefully in their bedrooms.
And then I mowed the neighbor’s lawn
after I brought her mail in.
My hands buzzed as I swept the driveway.
I finished sweeping in the rain.



Matthew Thiele

Teacher. Satirist. Scholar. Published in Slackjaw, Points in Case, McSweeney’s, Ben Jonson Journal, and elsewhere. Definitely not a robot. Or an alien.