My father spent his last winter
Making ice-grips for shoes
Out of strips of inner tube and scrap metal.
(A device which slips over the instep
And holds under the shoe
A section of roughened metal, it allows you to walk
Without fear of falling
Anywhere on the ice or snow.) My father
should not have been doing
All that close work
In the drafty workshop, but as though
he sensed travel at the edge of his mind,
He would not be stopped…
from “Ice” by Mary Oliver
Our ice calipers were fashioned in rubber with metal studs and they, too, allowed my father and I to travel when the exterior world was covered in ice – like a thick plexiglass covering that offered a view to what was beneath, but no warmth.
Photograph © James Currie