MARIAN DICKINSON: COUPLES ONLY

COUPLES ONLY. . . .

At eleven, she’s a frame
of lengthening bones, long feet,
and straight dark hair that sways
when comets in her eyes
streak briefly toward a mirror.
She reads again the lack
of breast or softening curve.
Her long hands adjust
lank fall of jersey folds.
Now she watches while her sister
sparkles on the ice,
flaunts proper curve and curl.
A man skates close; they spin.

The younger girl still waits.
Lights dim then strobe the dark.
She takes an offered hand,
and wind streams through her hair.
Two hands clasp tightly, warmed.
Then suddenly the rink
lights up and pulls them back,
reveals him in its glare
—too short, too young, she thinks.
Embarrassed, they drop hands
and glide apart.

© 1986 Marian Dickinson

Marian Dickinson

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