Ice Skating In New Orleans

 

My older sister, several other girls

met on the concrete square in our backyard

 

to test the sheet of ice that wouldn't melt

in rare moments of a "real" winter

 

in a New Orleans suburb. In 1994, 

they were only in junior high

 

but seemed so grown up when I was five

and watched how easy it was for them to teach

 

me how to slide over the slipperiness

in tennis shoes, pretending to be the figure

 

skaters we watched spin like a quarter 

on the edge. In shorter legs, I was much more

 

careful, but it went beyond the leftover ice.

They were giggly, but even as a child

 

I was tight-lipped and numb after Thanksgiving,

silently asking why everything moved in 

 

slow motion--like the moment

I didn’t catch my balance in time,

 

slamming my palms into the ice

when it was time to break my fall.

 

Then overbearing crisis--"Are you okay?" Yes, 

just tired while too busy listening to the hush

 

between our willow's naked branches,

still too young to know why. I just wanted to

 

dust myself off, go back inside, listen to quiet until

I fell asleep in my coat, where it was warmer, safer 

anyway.

depressionmelancholywinter

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Comments

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Stu Buck

Fri 1st Feb 2019 17:12

this is very warm despite the subject matter and i enjoyed it a lot

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