Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"First Skating Party" by Joseph Mills

 The Nampa Roller Drome, Nampa, Idaho,
where I learned how to skate in the years 1956 to 1960, aged 7 to 11.

Dozens of kids circle
the worn wooden floor
on old rental skates,
and none of them wear
helmets or pads,
so when they collide
or fall or stop themselves
by the simple technique
of steering straight
into the cinder-block barrier,
you can feel the pain
of the parents
who watch from booths
by the concession stand;
they know their children
have bones of balsa
and skin that tears
as easily as a napkin,
but they can do nothing
except yell, Be Careful!
and make hand gestures
to slow down
                             Slow Down!—
as the ones they love
strobe past them
faster and faster
just beyond their reach.


"First Skating Party" by Joseph Mills from The Miraculous Turning. © Press 53, 2014. 

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