Big Ice

by Jesse Anger

Before dawn defines the trees
we’re up, dressed and off to the rink.
The sweet brine of your breath
on my face as you leverage my blades
between your knees
                                skate laces creaking
in the eyelets till each boot is sewn shut,
snug at the ankle.

A fresh sheet of ice draws
like a shrine, its silence full:

last night’s play still caroms up the boards,
a cheer swells from the bleachers,
the ref’s shrill call at the line—

In raftered banners the raised
voices of fathers who have watched
their sons first skate, known the simple play
and lace-bite; the hornet’s nest of a blocked shot
and the vindication of the tying goal,
who have given up on the dream
to roll from sleep at 5:15 A.M.
to bump and shunt their
sleepy sons to cold cars.

And even though practice was cancelled
for an hour the big ice was ours.


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Far Too Close is out of print from The Blasted Tree Store.


Contributing Author

Other works on The Blasted Tree:

Far Too Close by Jesse Anger is a composite of Blasted Tree originals and previously published work. For information about the publication history of Far Too Close, please read the Acknowledgements (Acknowledgements & Thanks).

ISBN [Digital]: 978-0-9938364-7-3

Cover Design by Kyle Flemmer - Cover Image by Dimitri Castrique