WILLA v4 - Black Ice

Volume 4
Fall 1995

Black Ice

by John Sutton

The stunning beauty
Like her Mother's
That she always made a point to renounce
Requires less renunciation
Now that it begins to fade--
And that disturbs her.
And the fact that it disturbs her
Disturbs her even more.
Occasions for her stock tirade
On the inconsequence
Of physical beauty
Are fewer now.
Once irrelevant and unvalued
Sheer beauty now becomes
A delicate sticking point.

She searches for a new music:
Her Father's song
Will not suffice
Without her Father's voice
To sing it and impose its truth.
The song alone
No longer soothes.
It was the voice,
Not just the song.

Behind the wheel
She guides the Sunbird
Through the autumn night.
Her Daughter fiddles with the radio,
Up and down the scale--
All talk, no music.
The slender, young hand
Clicks the plastic knob.

She brakes hard at a shadow,
Shivers, then breathes.
"Black ice," she says.
To youth's wide eyes.
And then, for the first time
Weaved from her waking dreams
She sings

a new song

for a beautiful daughter.

JOHN SUTTON is an Associate Professor of English and Mass Communications at Francis Marion University specializing in professional communication and American literature.

Copyright 1995, The Women in Literature and Life Assembly (WILLA) of the National Council of Teachers of English (ISSN #1065-9080).

Reference Citation: Sutton, John. (1995). "Black Ice," WILLA, Volume IV, 17.

by Radiya Rashid