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Building An Igloo
Truckee, California, 1950
by Cynthia R. Pratt

Don't begin immediately.
Clear a space.
Remove rocks.
Check the texture of the snow:
a pie dough viscosity with sculpting abilities,
and, of course, enough to finish the job.

Scrape the snow flat into a solid floor of ice.
Picture the diameter: a small one first,
one that grows as you learn,
then draw the circle, a booted foot will do.

Establish the size of the rectangles of ice, and
be consistent for the foundation.
Pack each block into a hard brick,
placing each around the line you drew,
leaving one narrow opening.

Then add the next one on top,
staggering between the bottom layer.
Be sure to let the second row hang
slightly over into the middle of your future house.

Keep this up, one block after the other,
one row and then the next.
Assuming you've leaned the walls just right,
finish with a cap stone.

Then make a cup of chocolate, and crawl
into the quiet icy glow of your home.

Sometimes, that's enough, just to finish something,
just to surround yourself with your own work.


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