I love you best when you are falling
behind the other boys but never
stopping. You are not good
at this thing that you love,
something you sense but pretend not to know.
At six you have learned already
the bluster of talking bigger than you are,
and I conspire with you. The world will tell you
soon enough when you fall short.
I will tell you that you are fast,
will give you a drink from your water bottle
and send you back out to circle the rink
more slowly than the other boys
your blades carving deep grooves,
leaving your careful mark.