Blue Ice

Mar 9, 2018

Today’s poem is “Blue Ice” by Ellen Taylor. who lives in Appleton, Maine. She teaches at the University of Maine at Augusta and satellite UMS centers, and organizes the annual Terry Plunkett Maine Poetry Festival. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Floating, and Compass Rose, as well as a chapbook, Humming to Snails. where "Blue Ice" was published.

She writes, “This poem recounts the story of uniting with an old friend, in the winter. Even though we had years of separation, one bad marriage and plenty of heart-ache to talk about, instead we went ice-skating, late at night. There was magic in the kinesthesia, gliding across the ice, even through there was some danger to skating in the darkness. We were giddy with energy, and all the drama that happened in our separate lives just dissipated with our movement.

Blue Ice
for Betsy
by Ellen Taylor

After years, the stiff skates still slip on over wool socks.
White laces intersect and climb
up to our ankles
until the geometry is complete
with a double bow.

I follow you onto the shoveled ice.
My legs wobble and dull blades hesitate.
You have been practicing and push and glide
with ease while I stutter behind you.

Then, as the crisp surface cleans my blades,
I match your pace, almost, and once again
we are gliding across the disk of ice
as many years ago, stroking the lake
with our stride, leaving behind
a wake of ice chips.

We avoid the hem of blue ice, feel
the winter air sting our cheeks and noses.
The sky is bold and bright and we
are skating again. Not even darkness
will sadden us tonight.

Poem copyright © 2005 Ellen M. Taylor.
Reprinted from Humming to Snails
Moon Pie Press, 2005
by permission of Ellen M. Taylor.