Monday, April 25, 2011



My husband flies
in hockey skates
around our pond
in January. He has spent
hours, days grooming it, removing
snow with blowers, pushing shovels
for the rest, and then the hosing, smoothing down, and waiting, waiting
until the ice is slick and cruel. Cruel

for me whose knees absorb alone full force
the fall, always, sharp and hard of ice
skatiing. And yet, I gift my love by putting
on the skates again beyond ten years for healing
memories of the last knee cracking fall.(No major
damage, mind you, just
that black mind blanking pain upon
the impact, sporting technicolor legs

for days.) But he, my daring athlete
wants to fly with me. At least to
skate a little, hand in hand. (We live alone. The kids
are gone.) So I perch on a stool
and try to lace the skates. Then, leaning on
his manly arm so heavily, I take such tiny
steps, a baby, which at my age looks more like
a bent decrepit old, old lady

shuffling steps, with skates on. Utter
panic! Right skate slide, six inches
forward. Left skate, slip beside it. Pause,
"You can do it!" Breathe. Regain your courage. Right,
inch left, catch up. Ayyayayayayay…. (You
see the picture.) I can’t get
nearly over my fear of falling on ice with Donald, paired,
romantic. No. Not never. Not even for love.

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