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 had a lovely President's Day -- lunch at Cava with Paul and Cheryl, then Black Panther with them plus Karen, Jim, and Teresa at Arclight (we all thought it was wonderful, both within the MCU and as an action movie with a political perspective). Then Paul, Cheryl, and I came home and watched What We Do in the Shadows, which none of us had seen before, and howled through the whole thing, since it is both hilarious and very clever.
After Cheryl went home, I spent the evening yelling at the TV about NBC's ice dance coverage, which was both erratic and biased, but Virtue and Moir defeated the (now I can say it) overrated French team and the Shibutanis skated beautifully though I feel badly that Hubbell and Donohue, whom I really like, were not on top of their game. It's late so more tomorrow; here's a picture of my lazy cats and of me and Delta with superheroes!