Linda Hodge Bromberg Award in Poetry
Honorable Mention

Sledding

We wouldn’t speak of it. Not that night, not the next morning,
          not the next spring when Travis died, and my father came home

wearing every part of the lake but the water—his deputy’s hat
          pulled low, the ten gallons leaking through the house. The windows

turned the sun into water on the walls, and I remembered how
          that night you pulled me off the flying disk. After, we laid

in your bedroom, and I watched the light ballpoint your fingers,
          the plasma ball bedizen the room with wallpaper, paint partitions

with little hands. I didn’t tell you about my grandma’s sister,
          how she’s down there swimming still. Grandma says every branch

in the water is Martha’s bobbing hand. I think I see it clearly now—
           a crystal ball, the augury in the lightning, the ribs in every needle.

I can read the writing on the wall. Nic, do you hear the water
          running toward us? The banks building muddy across our childhood

like a dark wax—like the half-clothed river welting below your house,
          where we watched the saucer rattle, some strange die across the ice,

the brown water filling its plastic lip; a wake of slush formed behind us.
          The shadows lapped, the brown cord bleated toward the Great Lake—

and we wondered where our parents were, which boundary we’d crossed,
           what gurgled in rough throat we crawled from, quietly, up the bank.

Volume  12.1 - June 2019

Born in Superior, Wisconsin, Jacob Lindberg’s an MFA student at the University of Arkansas. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Up North Lit. His poetry can be found or is forthcoming in Rattle, cream city review, Salamander, Fairy Tale Review, and others.