To Himself He kept to himself: reading, nose in a book, scribbling in that journal he hid deep in the hay loft. He skated that way, too--self-contained, fluid strides, carrying secrets with each rush. He'd visit home a stranger--nervous, his anger a hunger to strike, to hip check me into the boards. Lying rigid in a hospital bed clothes cut off by the orderly his limbs numb, pointless--will he hold a pen again? Fate's a cheap detail--a poorly sharpened bevel on a skate blade. I look down at him, as paralyzed as he is, stunned, grinding teeth conjuring a memory of that first pair of skates--how he laced them, then stepped onto black ice so clear, so smooth the cranberry plants trapped below seemed like museum pieces--motionless, glass versions of themselves--and he kneeled down, almost kissing its surface mesmerized by them his mittened hands excited, polishing the ice, his laugh splintering winter air.
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