james wright | the ice house

6 10 2007


Poetry Dispatch No. 35 | December 5, 2005

THE ICE HOUSE by James Wright

The house was really a cellar deep beneath the tower of the old Belmont Brewery. My father’s big shoulders heaved open the door from the outside, and from within the big shoulders of the ice-man leaned and helped. The slow door gave. My brother and I walked in delighted by our fear, and laid our open palms on the wet yellow sawdust. Outside the sun blistered the paint on the corrugated roofs of the shacks by the railroad; but we stood and breathed the rising steam of that amazing winter, and carried away in our wagon the immense fifty-pound diamond, while the old man chipped us each a jagged little chunk and then walked behind us, his hands so calm they were trembling for us, trembling with exquisite care.





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