That December

Snow filled in raccoon tracks.
The lake became nacreous.
Ice buckled at bur oak roots.
Nothing happened but a blank
white splitting. Dark blue water
churgled in to fill the vacancies.
Frozen bubbles trapped the reflections
of geese arrowing overhead.
Puffs of breath turned to light-soaked vapor.

Photo by Kent Henderson 

Rebecca Nelson

Rebecca Nelson is a PhD student in the graduate group in ecology at University of California, Davis. Her dissertation research examines how human-caused changes to the environment affect plants and pollinators. She graduated from Stanford University with a BS in biology, a minor in creative writing, and a notation in science communication. Her writing has previously appeared in Moon Magazine, the EcoTheo Review, and the Stanford Daily. She grew up in the Chicago area, and Lake Michigan inspires her poetry. You can contact Rebecca at