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Poem: "Wonderland Anyway" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Wonderland Anyway"
This poem came out of the January 21, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] perfectworry. It also fills the "Huddle for Warmth" square on my 1-2-14 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the series Walking the Beat.


"Wonderland Anyway"


Dale and Kelly had always
loved ice skating together in winter.
The cold snap made them miss it bitterly,
with the glint of sunlight on snow
and the sharp bite in the air.

You should go by yourself,
Dale signed. There's no reason
for both of us to miss out
.

It wouldn't be the same without you,
Kelly insisted. I don't want to.

It had been a tradition
as long as they'd been together,
a little wisp of winter wonderland
that both of them had cherished.

Well ... I could come along
and watch you skate,
Dale said.

Kelly was dubious,
but she really did want to go,
and this was better than nothing.

So they both bundled up
in their warmest clothes
and went out into the arctic air.

At the Boston Common,
the Frog Pond was frozen over
and covered with people
skating in ones and twos,
with a few more adventurous groups
making people-snowflakes
in sixes or dozens.

Kelly made a few laps of the pond,
elegant and powerful on her silver blades.
Dale watched, and tried to enjoy
the sight of her partner having fun.
It was hard not to think of skating herself,
but that was a thing of the past now.

Kelly soon came back
and huddled against Dale for warmth.
C-c-cold! she signed,
hands shaking even in her gloves.

Dale got up and bought hot chocolate
for both of them, brought it back
and snuggled together again.
Well, this was certainly nice.

Suddenly Kelly was shaking her and pointing,
making the odd little hiccuping sound
that she only did when really excited.

Dale followed the line of her arm
and saw that someone had brought
a genuine old-fashioned skating chair.
The young man currently riding it
had a prosthetic leg.

Kelly drained the last of her hot chocolate,
pushed the empty cup at Dale,
and then dashed away.

It was easy to forget
how fast she could go.

A few minutes later,
Kelly returned with the chair
and two burly young men.

"Hi, I'm Wayne," said the taller man.
"I built this for my brother -- he's a veteran --
it helps get him out of the house more.
Would you like a ride?"

"Dale, and I'm a policevet myself,"
she said. "I'd love a ride."

So they braced the chair
and Dale clambered in.
Once she settled into place,
the two men swooped away
and let Kelly take over
behind the handles.

It took a few moments
to build up the momentum,
but then they were flying over the ice,
Dale and Kelly laughing together,

and for once,
Kelly's legs were strong enough
for both of them

and it was
wonderland anyway.

* * *

Notes:

The Frog Pond in the Boston Common is one of several places offering opportunities for ice skating in winter, a popular feature on the local Things To Do list.

Ice skating chairs and other artifacts have found their way onto winter ponds. You can see them in paintings and photographs. A talented skater can be quite agile even with a chair in hand. This provides an effective way for very young, very old, or handicapped people to enjoy the ice. Oddly enough, these things used to be quite popular but seem to have fallen out of favor -- an unusual example of accessibility better in the past than the present.

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7 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
lb_lee From: lb_lee Date: February 18th, 2014 12:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I had no idea such things existed! This gives me a story idea. Also, the baby-carrier seems a really cute, interesting idea; a shame you don't see it around anymore, though I can see why. (If one half of the couple fell...)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 18th, 2014 01:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>> I had no idea such things existed! This gives me a story idea. <<

Yay, I'm glad I could help!

>> Also, the baby-carrier seems a really cute, interesting idea; a shame you don't see it around anymore, though I can see why. (If one half of the couple fell...) <<

That's what I thought. A better idea would be a baby-basket, like a walker, but a little taller so the parents could tow it.
From: technoshaman Date: February 18th, 2014 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Awwww. *smiles*

I wonder if my roller skating skills would transfer to the ice... though I tried inline wheels once and got almost exactly nowhere...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 18th, 2014 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>> Awwww. *smiles* <<

I'm glad you liked this. There are a couple other people's poems posted after yours, too.

>> I wonder if my roller skating skills would transfer to the ice... though I tried inline wheels once and got almost exactly nowhere... <<

Balance skills largely transfer. Motion skills don't transfer much.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 18th, 2014 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>> I've always loved the idea of skating, but I have mediocre balance and bad knees, so in practice, it's never really appealed to me. I'd love to have a spin with someone in a skating chair. <<

I'd certainly be interested in riding one.

>> It also kind of reminds me of things I've read about "ice boats", mounted on skates and propelled by sails, drawn by skaters, or pushed along with poles. The only source that's coming to mind right now is the Swallows & Amazons book Winter Holiday, but I know I've read about them other places, too. <<

With enough wind on a smooth surface, you can sail one. See also Alan Dean Foster's Icerigger.
natf From: natf Date: February 18th, 2014 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I used to love to skate. Roller and ice. Never tried inline but would I that my ice skills would transfer…
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 18th, 2014 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

Skating can be lots of fun.
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