The figure a sometime poet-skater makes

This here skating biz,
it`s enough to put anyone
on edge.
Bladed ballet for some–
kissing ice for me.

My program is necessarily
a short one: squeezed feet
& aching sacro-iliac.
My style arched & forever
braced for collision.

Free skating–that`s me for sure.
It costs nothing to watch me
circle a pond monotonously.
Nothing fancy–no spins
jumps or lifts.

I love to take the air,
but know too well
the gravity of my situation.

I prefer my etchings on paper,
safe, solitary– a dance on flat white.
Rask, rask–my pen scrawls.

Far safer for everyone, I figure.
Who needs trials or stress fractures?
There`s enough ice & theatre elsewhere.

Still I dig my novice status,
something about lacing up those Bauers
& the piped-in oldies.

To say nothing of the prospect
of going solo again on
the Lake Placid of my brain.


Lake Placid-–past scene of a famous winter Olympics

Written and read at a Stroll of Poets event on a rink stage during a national ice skating tournament at the Northlands Agricom. As said earlier, some roles suit us and some we do in our limited individual ways. Ice skating, as seen on the sports channel, is a bladed ballet for some and very much a performance, like so many things we do in life. Writing this poem and writing, period, is a similar ‘risky’ performance–I’m probably better at that than when I’ve been on skates in the past. And yet it was fun to read at the event and to write a poem for it; in short, to imagine and perform vicariously. But as Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

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