A Skating Mother’s Journey to the Olympics


Only a mother knows that dedication
Rising before four, often new rinks, new places;
things you need for the drive and the practice.
In those days, not one pair of skates but
two – start with figures (patch) skating turns with precision.

Your skater alert at last, changes boots, jackets, other things;
on to free style and then repeat, pay for ice,
drive back hoping that rush traffic doesn’t cut
you off; you glance over, see him as he traces
on his bookcover –brackets, threes on olympic rings.

Later on partners, new coaches – rush, delay
waiting on costumes, new blades, shaking but-
terflies before he skates then races
over to find out the results, meeting your eyes
with his looks of satisfaction or fierce dismay.

Decisions, money, time, travel, loss and gain
I know the competition rungs, the tarnish and the graces.
I’ve felt the courage, the joy, the hurt and anger disguised
with smiles, fists in gloves inside pockets – clenched shut.
Finally they open, ready to give him control over that joy and pain.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 2014 * All Rights Reserved
This poem is a Karousel (so appropriate for a sport that goes round and round and round).
The form was invented by David James and his article can be found here.
I am posting for d’Versepoets today on OpenLinkNight

In The Still of the Night

clouds and crescent moonIt all began with a midnight drive.
Apart at first then pulled to your side.
Frail Clouds sailed past the moon that night,
A crescent omen that said you’d lied.

I felt a twinge, bet I could wage
You were a soul that could not be saved.
An angelic bad-boy’s bargain made,
I guessed you owned another face.

You knew my mother was a nurse,
that I spent my free time at church,
that I sometimes longed for something worse,
yet I kept a crucifix in my purse,

That long road home was driven fast,
A touchstone reached, and crossroads passed.

©Gay Reiser Cannon * 2/13/14 * All Rights Reserved