Saturday Shinny

Sarnia_Shinny

A group of boys picking teams for a game of shinny, Sarnia, Ontario, 1908.
Photo by John Boyd, via Wikipedia

Criss-crossed with lines
and white as an old man’s face,
the pond ice teems with life
more buoyant than on a July day.
But this February morning
the crick-crack of tree limbs
in the breeze is echoed by
the click-clack of the boys’ sticks
in a game of shinny. Along
the snowy shore, girls call
for their turns on the ice,
while little ones stagger and fall
in someday attempts to be
like the big boys. I wander by,
cheeks red and eyes glistening
and feel my feet flying with
that good freeze again,
zooming down left wing, deking
Mike into the bushes, skimming
a puck into that box of branches.
Then my foot slips and I
fall to knees like one of
those six-year-olds.
That’s when I recall I never did
get the hang of staying upright
for long on my blades those
winter Saturdays, when the pond
was etched like the face I took
a different kind of blade to
just this morning.

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