Posts Tagged ‘ice skating’

Only Four Inches Thick



How does it do it,

the skin of ice—

it holds our weight

we who skate

in circles around

the frozen lake.

Though it groans

and cracks,

it holds us,

this solid ground

made of what

is not always solid.

Is it too much

to hope that we, too,

might sometimes

be able to hold

the weight of others

with such clarity,

such polished grace?

Our skates carve

unreadable cursive

into the surface.

Below us, clouds blossom

in the ice—bouquets

for days such as these

when everything

seems possible,

even improbable strength,

even falling through.



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I skate alone,

lake ice smooth

beneath dull blades.

I spin and trace

slow figure eights

and lift my arms,

open wings.

Anyone watching

from a window

would see a girl

in her old black and red

snowmobile suit,

tripping on her own edges.

clumsy and faltering.

But I see flowers

being tossed

from the stands

to the rink.

I bend to gather them,

smile and wave.

No one has told

me yet it can’t

be done, this

dream, no one,

not even myself.




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When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.
—John Muir

and so when I tug at the blue green ice
that marbles the top of the river, it’s no
surprise to find it connected to those mornings
when I was a girl and the lake was frozen
and I could skate all the way to the middle,
could follow the cracks and skate so far
I could hardly see my small yellow house.
I would lay down, face to the ice, and feel
the way the cold rose up to sting my check,
feel the chill seep through my winter clothes.
I would roll over and stare at the white sky
and wave my arms and legs in the angel pattern,
though there was no snow. And I’d stay there
a long, long time. In this way, I learned
it is possible to be warm even held by the cold,
and tugging at this, it is no surprise
to find it connects to everything.

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The woman
in green
veers right
to miss
a boy
in blue
her memory
a girl
in white
who skated
on winter
and another
who skated,
in one
all four

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