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Night on the Town

by Margaret Hasse


White stars have fallen into the trees

of Rice Park where we can see


the cold statue of F. Scott Fitzgerald

wearing his stocking cap of snow.


Nearby, a silver platter of frozen ice

is etched by many blades.


Skaters look like figurines cast against

the granite walls of Landmark Center.


Thousands of years ago people used

animal bones lashed to their feet.


How long since we last let go, pushed off?

$8.00 rents two old pairs of leather skates.


The unsteady boats of our bodies set out

on a wobbly go-round-the-rink.


Muscle memory instructs: relax knees

so legs can shove and stroke to glide.


Soon we will orbit like planets, following

others in bright coats who follow us.


Everything whirls: snowflakes, lights, stars.

Into the night we blow blue clouds of breath.