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Students Skating at Rockefeller Center

by Terence Culleton


Some sheer around, some teeter on their skates

and push off to recover, others glide

half-hunkering through shaky figure eights.

Three hug the boards along the other side

and one on this side readjusts his hat

to get a tighter fit. There's music, too,

some tape-looped bop tune cluttered up with scat.

Waiting here means nothing else to do

but watch them taxi hopefully. They seem

—if not Olympics bound—still, set to veer

toward some kind of glory, mouthing steam.

I'd like to be like them again, career

about in yellow gloves, red scarf, and all

those layers on for luck were I to fall.