Posts Tagged ‘nordic skiing’

For Ivar

Today as we gently
spread mountain dirt
on your ashes
I think of
that snow blown day
three years ago
when we
at two below
were laughing
at how cold
we were and
how sticky
our skis.
It amazes me
how out of
comes blessing.
To this day
your smile—
and wide as the mesa
we stood on—
still warms me,
your real smile
the only part
of that long cold race
I remember.

Read Full Post »



I love entering a race with no chance of winning—

so easy to keep a smile on my face, to remember

I am doing this for the love of it, easy to focus

on the color of the sky, the cold scent of snow,

the thrill of the arms as they pump and release.


It’s the same reason I love going to high school plays

or middle school volleyball games or eating potato chips.

There’s a thrill, of course, in the best—but oh, the joy

of wearing a soft sweatshirt on a Saturday, of finding yourself

on the tenth kilometer of fifteen, grateful for five more k.

Read Full Post »




Someday I’ll prefer to sit, to sit

and breathe and think or not think

and sit. But now, now when

the high mountains sing with snow

and the snowcat has groomed

a path through the nowhere of spruce

and the sky is a winnowing blue

that makes me unknow my name,

yes, now is the moment to slip deeper

into the self of myself

and snap skis on my feet

and let the day slap a smile on my face

that I could not possibly unsmile,

because for now, there is

this burn in the lungs, this wind

in the face, this spilling of laughter,

this joy in stride and push and glide,

this thrill in losing the breath.




Read Full Post »





Fully commit your weight to one foot.

Every skate skier knows this. To trust

the ski. To trust the snow. To trust the inner

balancer that will not let us fall.


The commitment allows us to glide,

to fly, to find bright wings inside our weight.


And sometimes we fall.


And though it’s been years since I had to change

into the blue gym shorts and white shirt,

sometimes when I fall I remember all my fallings,

and a sharp voice returns, You can’t do this,

it says. It dredges up decades

of shame, of dropping the ball, missing

the hit, not making the catch, letting down

the team. You’re no good, says the voice

that recalls what it’s like to be the last one

picked in junior high p.e., how I stared

at the floor, at the far away ceiling.


You’re weak, says the voice, but here

amongst the aspen and spruce,

there is no one to let down, but me,

so I untangle the skis and the poles

and rise and breathe and fully commit

my weight to one foot. And glide.

And fly. Become wing. First one foot.

And then the other.

Read Full Post »

The ad says “you’ll ski faster” in your two-piece racing suit

with underarm venting and elastic waistband—

and it’s fully sublimated, whatever that means.

It’s enough to make a woman want to pay three hundred bucks

for the front-zip top and the drawstring cord,

because a woman will ski faster in her two-piece racing suit.

Never mind that she’s been eating Barbara’s cheese puffs for breakfast.

Never mind she’s drinking Pepsi and sneaking her son’s grape Nerds.

The suit is fully sublimated, whatever that means,

and surely that’s enough to make up for the fact

that she hasn’t even walked more than a block or two all fall.

The ad says she’ll ski faster in her two-piece racing suit,

and she chooses to believe it. Why would they lie?

It will stretch (great!) and moves with her for maximum performance,

and it’s fully sublimated, whatever that means.

Yeah, she’ll be winning all the races this year for sure

in her breathable blue fabric (with mesh panels where she needs it most).

You bet she’s laying down the bucks for her two-piece racing suit—

you know, it’s fully sublimated, whatever that means.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: