Each Saturday After

double knots below the shins,

they clop on the ice - hard nail of water

buffed to a perfect gloss.

Teachers, mechanics, waitresses,

accountants, and C-trick workers,

orbiting like planets around the rink's

red circles. Near the boards

the young couple catch each other,

push off again. Little boys

with wooden sticks and helmets

hear a whistle. They whisk over the ice,

stop and shred it on the next blast.

A bearded man, gloves in his pockets,

glides. Purple socks and bow

looks down for assurance.

Her older sisters race, loop

by the tall, turtleneck parents

holding the hands of their kid

who chops, skitters, and is yanked

first north and then south.

Around and around they go.

Parkas and sharp blades,

laughing, talking, yelling to someone

in the bleachers where I sit, maybe

where you've sat, to watch them

cross-step and lean through an edge,

chasing after who they've been

if not what they might be

in this place that they trust

will get them back to where they are.

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