My W.W. Fenn

 

 

By Gail Mazur

In the warming house, children lace their skates,   

bending, choked, over their thick jackets.


A Franklin stove keeps the place so cozy

it’s hard to imagine why anyone would leave,


clumping across the frozen beach to the river.   

December’s always the same at Ware’s Cove,


the first sheer ice, black, then white

and deep until the city sends trucks of men


with wooden barriers to put up the boys’   

hockey rink. An hour of skating after school,


of trying wobbly figure-8’s, an hour

of distances moved backwards without falling,


then—twilight, the warming house steamy   

with girls pulling on boots, their chafed legs


aching. Outside, the hockey players keep   

playing, slamming the round black puck


until it’s dark, until supper. At night,

a shy girl comes to the cove with her father.


Although there isn’t music, they glide

arm in arm onto the blurred surface together,


braced like dancers. She thinks she’ll never

be so happy, for who else will find her graceful,


find her perfect, skate with her

in circles outside the emptied rink forever?


I chose this piece because it is about skating, as whoever reading this knows. I really enjoy skating outside because for me it’s like nothing else in the world. I love the way this poem is written and I makes it easy to memorize.

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