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I took my daughter roller skating and remembered my first battered turn, a thousand years ago.

By Stuart OrrPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 1 min read
Photo by Lukas Schroeder on Unsplash

Dear Isabel, take little steps, until

You feel your weight quick-shift you through the crowd.

My father taught these lanky legs this way,

And from these eyes as many tears did spill.

So go ahead and cry. The disco's loud.

The Witch who turned my world still holds Her sway.

* * *

The circle listens to the DJ, waits

While moving onwards through Her teenaged throng,

Our hearts upheld in rapt concentration,

Our eyes ahead-sure, or down at our skates,

Our arms in waves arriving in Her song:

By-the-teeth-tethered fear and elation.

* * *

I fell so many times the day Dad brought

Me to this place, and every day since. I

Have your hand now and had but once to lift

You like a Christmas bauble from Her court.

My daddy left me lying there to find,

Amongst the stampeding rollers, Her gift.

* * *

Her rink collects our hopes and sympathies

And grinds them into neon smoke and steam -

Our childhoods spent in bruiséd shame. My curse

Upon Her lips now spells a fantasy:

Your face born out of this man's wrinkled dream,

Once tragic, now the romance we rehearse.

* * *

Did each deep fall delight the sorceress,

Each crack the space through which Her fortune flowed,

Your figure formed from fractures' filigree,

Love etched into my wax by pain's duress?

And did She not take from Dad what he owed?

Did he not to Her black bargain agree?

* * *

Dear Isabel, your children wait in stumbling missteps,

Designed for resin wheels to roll across

Your fingers, broader hips to knock aside

Your beams, until, by stages, hurt corrects,

So love can move so smooth and swift through loss,

And on a tempered centre surely glide.


About the Creator

Stuart Orr

I'm mostly a science fiction writer who wishes he were a musician, so my work is almost always speculative and either features music as a theme, a plot imperative, or - and this is my most fervent wish - sings through the language.

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