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.