From the ice

(untitled)

She's been thinking about
things that don't need thinking

This gives her the sensation
that the rink sinks inches

at a time whenever she launches
a leap--a wince pinches her skates.

For the klutz who learned triple
Lutz, a great deflation--smack--

cold reminder of the bindings
in her locker. Her back iced,

she bounces up, thrusts her body,
her choice, noise of crowd sigh,

disappointment at the points lost.
To be or not to be nigh eighteen,

a mother or a medalist--shake
the thought, chase momentum

ignore the devil.


***
This in response to Robert Brewer's weekly prompt at poetic asides, with the direction to start a poem with a line drawn from his notebook.

I am submitting from the road, in New York, where we went skating in Long Island with our cousins, one of whom is a competitive ice skater. Being at the rink, and having watched her videos, and some performances of other local champs, put me in the setting of this po-narrative. Something about the concentration of atheletes in opposition to the complexities of the lives we 21st century United Staters lead generated this poem.

In it, a skater, falls. In her mind is a situation which is open to interpretation. In my mind, is the issue of abortion, cued by the word "choice," the mysterious "bindings/in her locker," and most plainly "to be or not to be nigh eighteen//a mother or a medalist..."

I am still drafting this--no title yet. Also experimenting with a rhyme game, quite imperfect here, wherein the last sound of the second line in each couplet returns, doubled, in the following couplet. for example "thinking" returns as "rink sinks" and "smack" returns as "locker...back." It's a work in progress.

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