Long Program

We have been partners now for
twenty-three years, since that night
we tried the makeshift skating rink
in your father’s yard. Shy and slight
even then, you landed laughing, far,

when I whirled you into snow.
Over the years, still side-by-side,
we’ve traversed ice so thin
it shattered as our strides
skimmed past, axels, throws

so difficult I never knew
if you could ever still forgive.
But here we are. Your arm in mine.
I start my pivot, hold tight, then give
until your spiral starts a flow

as breathless as my soul.
I lift you up, and as a measure
of your trust, your heart inclines
to slip into my arms, a treasure
to treasure, until our final curtain call.


  1. Short link - http://bit.ly/s4lprogram

  2. Reading this makes me want all that, the tender subtle sinuous rhyme reminds why words call to each other, mirroring the twining lovers lives. I am almost see her, although you are more distant, she infuses the poem. How lovely the movement into ice dancing, memory, past and future. This is one of my favorites of yours for the simpicity and layers of motion and emotion. Gold Medal! You Ring!

  3. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. I'm watching figure skating right now with its intricate swirls and breathless intimacy. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I love how visual your poems are, but still communicate abstract ideas and feelings.

  5. Oh and I didn't even know you were a skater too. Don't tell me I judged you and don't tell me you know Christopher Jones. That would make this world waaaaay too small! Great poem. You captured that partner stuff perfectly ... the spiral line undid my laces! Thanks, Gay

  6. Thanks to all who've written in, so far, for your kind, wonderful thoughts. Actually, I don't skate all that well. In this poem, skating is a metaphor for a love, and the long program a metaphor for one that's lasted a very long time.


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