Late evening, February 20, 2008
This one night, twelve or fifteen
of us are tracing and tracing
ovals and figure-eights,
our blades clicking and swishing and
shaving dust from the hard bright ice.
We lift our gaze on every eastward pass
to the soft brick-red moon,
strangely hooded in the bent rays
of our passing shadow.
We loop and spin, again and again
pass shadowed faces,
sharp wind-watery eyes,
sharing an intimate, innocent
secret this one night skating
under a ruddy dim moon.
One of us rounds the western curve
readying another orbit.
Wrapped in wool and feathers and fur
she lunges into the straightaway
drawn like a lone comet and hurtling
toward another of us waiting with one arm out to
clasp the passing hand and they spin with dangerous speed laughing
in muffled barks lost in the wide prairie
and fling each other away, plunge into separate darkness,
planning the next pass.
We watch them, feeling their love,
murmuring wonder at this
weird late-night gathering of bodies
loving the spinning star-pierced sky,
loving the still air and the hard chill,
loving the terra cotta cast of the round moon,
a freak reunion of frost, friends,
and planets momentarily aligned,
clusters of cosmic dust
circling and shining and sharing the shade,
attending the hiss of a curving blade,
Falling toward each other from distances
and swinging fiercely
in the tug of friendship
this one night.