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?
Tuesday was not a good day. We found out that another relative, Paul's brother's wife, had lost her father to the coronavirus -- I can't even remember now if I mentioned here that his cousin's wife also lost her father to it after a long, horrible hospital stay. My day was mostly quiet: I was scanning old skating pictures, I chatted online with my good friend in England, and I talked to my college roommate so that was lovely.
We watched Stargirl, which I liked better than the first though I hope she interacts more with other girls, and Legends of Tomorrow, which was awesome -- I don't care if they borrowed the concept from Supernatural, Kirk and Spock as lesbian lovers was a thing of beauty and I loved the Mr. Rogers and Downton Abbey parodies too! These pics are from the 1984 World Professional Figure Skating Championships and my father took the actual skating photos: