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Dave drips the hot blue wax onto the ski

and tells me how it will help the ski meet the snow.

“The cold snow is sharp,” he says, “and aggressive.”

Today’s wax will harden the base of the ski.

 

I think of the world and all its sharpnesses,

all its aggressions. We humans

are not so unlike the snow. I’ve been fooled

so often. Perhaps my soul needs blue wax.

 

No, I think, what the soul really needs

is more like the scraper he pulls out,

and the brushes of copper, horsehair, and nylon.

What the soul really needs is a scouring.

 

He explains that the scouring allows

the cuts in the structure to be exposed

so that the skis don’t suction to the snow.

Is that what all these little cuts are for in me?

 

To keep me from getting stuck? Later,

as I skate in the race and feel my ski glide

across what is cold, I think Dave

with my visible breath.

 

There are so many ways to relearn

how it is we meet the world. Today,

the lesson is a ski, a scraper, some wax,

a man with an iron, and acres and acres of snow.

 

 

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