Vancouver Ice

girl thinks rink and by god
the neighbour makes one
if only one could skate
if only one had skates

rubber boots will do; she will slide
from one end of the sidewalk
to the other. the big kids are skating
but she is sliding in her blue rubber boots

all the lights in the sky are switched on
though it's night-time, and Chicago
is threatening everyone sweetly:
"if you leave me now, you take away
the biggest part of me..."

so sweetly she just wants to slide over
and take it.  the big kids are trees
floating by, are dark landscape
the rink, the night, all its translucent
chill, are for her, are just her,
all flow from her head and run back to it
her arms in their navy-blue parka sleeves
scissor to keep her from falling
who needs to skate? sliding is where it's at
sliding is a straight slick line from stop
to go  sliding will take her through
the forest of loud big kids
to alone with Chicago and their pleading
and she will thrill and ice over
and leave them now and slide slick away

Diane Tucker



Diane Tucker has never been a very good ice skater. She blames her elegant narrow ankles.