Book of Stingers / Meditation on Lacing My Daughter’s Ice Skates
my fingers have a God complex they dream of prying stingers from my children's bodies and collecting them in a box, labeled by date: here is the time when mommy saved you, you remember? when you stepped on a bee the summer after first grade this one is from the time you found a wasp's nest in a tree, you were terrified! / here's another and another and another mommy saved you, look at the proof in her infancy, I could lay one of my daughter’s feet across the pad of my fingertip, fragment of a cloud. I try to remember or reimagine her tiny toes curled and uncurled against my skin like a novice archer pulling back her bow, who then, unsure, reconsiders and lets go. she watches the figure skaters leave their mark on the ice their bird spines tilt up like immortal ladders I have dreamed bones and blood into something whole, something that stands then walks, fills the room with her mood, emerges taller in the morning spins on a sheet of ice like she is the center of gravity but I have the book of stingers so I bind the laces tighter and watch her glide pull the arrow tight against the bow hope that she looks back as she finds her way onto the ice her figure fading into something I no longer recognize.
4 replies on “Book of Stingers / Meditation on Lacing My Daughter’s Ice Skates”
Oh! such a lovely evocation of what happens when your adored child fast forwards into a separate life. Thank you for this, Joan!
Thanks for sharing such a lovely piece! this piece is very relatable.
Lovely. Utterly lovely….
The best poem I’ve read in a while. Stunning.