Rink At Norrie School

We never caught the snowplow clearing the new
white away from the center of the baseball field,
but there it was: an unmarked sheet of ice
wrinkled in some places. We stamped our feet
before stepping into the shack and changing
from boots to skates near its fireplace.

Feeling the hot and dry heat of the fireplace
made us more than ready to bear the snow-
flakes already sprinkling and changing
into gentle clumps on our eyelashes. A field
of snowbanks rose all around us as our feet
and ankles wobbled from side to side on the ice:

We had to relearn our balancing acts on the ice.
Skaters around us flew toward the fireplace
at the other end; we began to relax our feet
as we waved bye-bye. Past the banks of snow
we sped and slowed in our circles of the field.
The blade lines on ice underneath kept changing.

We ran and waved at each other, changing
again for the opposite direction. The ice
shrugged at our screams as we crashed into the field
of snowbanked cushions. Smoke from the fireplace
arising above reminded us of the coldness of snow,
but we only wriggled the numb toes of our feet.

We held hands, trying to slide sideways our feet
together like the Olympics on TV without changing
our speed. The ice’s unevenness hidden by snow
sometimes tripped us. Getting up from the ice,
we rubbed our sore buttocks before the fireplace
warmed us for a bit. But back onto the field

we jut-tut-tutted before spinning on; the field
of ice swirled with young skaters and fathers on feet.
The eye-jarring cold winds after the fireplace
goaded us on to breakneck speeds, not even changing
as we lifted one foot over another on the ice.
We were trying figure-eights when it began to snow

harder with night. The half-lit field was changing:
More of us wobbled our feet toward the fireplace.
We slid home on icy streets through its powdery snow.

This Way to the Acorns: Poems (The Tenth Anniversary Edition)

As a boy growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Raymond Luczak delighted in the mysterious attractions of nature in a huge expanse of abandoned woods and fields known as “across the street.” In This Way to the Acorns, he remembers encountering unexpected guests of the woods: a scraggly fox, a starving doe, an industrious chipmunk,…

This Way to the Acorns: Poems (The Tenth Anniversary Edition) →

The watercolor painting shows a barren tree with almost a woman's figure against a white background. On the top and bottom is a green criss-cross woven pattern. On the left side of the bottom is a circle showing the text in purple THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION. On the right side of the bottom is a tall purple rectangle showing the text in white: This Way to the Acorns | poems | Raymond Luczak.

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