Annual Winter Hike at Cedarburg Bog    

[audio link]             

Some of us wear yaktrax
others rely on carbide-tipped
trekking poles to grip
the creek’s thick, choppy ice.
Cattails trip us up too,
the dead stalks forming snares
that catch our feet. No matter.
The mood is buoyant. We are
dazzled by sun, snow and cold.

At Long Lake the snaking line
of hikers breaks open like
beads falling off a chain.
We glide, slide,
           and collide,
giddy with play.
At Donut Lake someone finds
a frog frozen whole in the ice—
its rear legs fully extended
as though trapped mid-

And wherever we brush against
cattails, tawny clouds of cattail
down drift down, weightless,
           silent as snow.

—Cory Masiak, Wauwatosa