“The Most Spectacular Fall I’ve Ever Seen”

Filled with braggadocio and confidence he arrived
with three small children trailing like snow geese
prepared for an afternoon on the ice. Round and round
the children skated, cold biting their cheeks and ankles shaking.
He laced his skates with special care and prepared for the dance;
cold biting and ankles shaking he sped about the perimeter
with a raised eyebrow and elegant air, oh so debonair.
Round and round, “no sweat” and confidence until it came
that he nearly tripped on crossed feet to fall upon the ice
but caught himself in the wind, arms flapping like a bird
attempting to bring feet beneath body again, and so
his speed he did increase. One by one the skaters left the circle,
making way for the artist who soon found himself quite alone
spinning as a planet circles a star until gravity
finally took hold and he could sustain the acrobatics
no longer – the flight of the snow goose across the ice.
Applause broke out among the ladies lined there, spectators,
as the curator took to the ice to shake his hand saying,
“I just wanted to shake your hand because
that was the most spectacular fall I’ve ever seen.”

– Previously published 1992 in From Daughter

coot ice skating

Coot skating

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