Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Sledding Hill


The white trail gleams
like a ribbon in the gathering night
Voices echo off that
closed-in place,
laughter ringing like memories
in a place that hasn't changed.
Out of the dark trees the children fly
wingless specters --
like seals in saucers, on their tummies.
In this strange light of semi-dark
it could be now or long before.
The laughter hasn't changed.
A man sits thinking in a
half-made snow angel --
a church bell in the neighborhood
marks the hour at six.


We went sledding the other night, just as it was getting dark, at the only sledding hill in town, at Kiwanis park. It's a funny little hill, winding down between the trees on a heavily wooded slope -- quite tricky. There were a bunch of people there and to me, it seemed poignant ... in the half-dark, you couldn't really SEE anybody, and I had the feeling that people had been gathering here, on nights like this, for the past 100 years. It seemed like it could have been 1950 or right now. It was a strange experience, because for me, for that hour, the sense that I used most, was my hearing -- existing in sounds ... people laughing and the shushing of sleds and people shouting at each other good-naturedly to "Get out of the way!" because, on the narrow slope, those walking back up co-existed so closely with those flying down. The boys enjoyed the sledding, but on a level that I don't think even they could understand, I think they enjoyed the camaraderie of the whole experience as well.


DawnK said...

Sounds like fun!

C Staude said...

Beautiful poem... all it needs is a few photos of Nathan's and you have the start of your first volume of poetry.... I suggest the title..."Wintersongs".