The Skater

The boy on the in-line skates

flings himself down the walking path,

swooping and curving around us

mere walkers, leaving his friends

lurching behind. See the look

in his eye. Enthusiasm pours from him

like flakes of light from the scales

of a sunlit koi, or of fire from a burning

pine cone. The supervisors who voted

money for this path did not know

they did it for him, for his special glee,

but he has come to possess it.

Now he turns his back to urge on his lagging

companions, shouting his joy, pirouetting,

lashing on the slackers with his agile tongue.

The density, intensity of his experience

today quite sweeps us all away

in its flare, its heat, its vibrancy.

''Come on,'' he shrills. ''It's a race

from here to the boat dock!''

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