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To Himself.

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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Article Details
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Author:Cappella, David
Publication:Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2017
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