The Birds of The Ice

The Birds of The Ice

A Poem by Naomi Bloom

A poem about skating outdoors in the town square.


It’s always the same fear

Every year

As I tentatively step onto the ice for the first time

And suddenly I am gliding 

With a movement almost like walking,

As if I’d just been skating yesterday;

“Just like riding a bike.”

Skating, gliding, winging,

So much like soaring!

We are the birds of the ice,

Sugar plum and peppermint spice.

The strangers I began with become familiar patterns 

And blend into my vision;

Blue, red and black swirls on white.

I maneuver through the increasing crowd ,

Slipping and peeking through cracks in the people.

‘How glorious that the toddling beginners can mingle 

With the speeding bullets and leisurely couples!,’

I think, until I am faced with a little boy in all black

Shooting by far faster than I can skate.

His father is training him like a wintery pit-bull

To muscle past the skaters in his way,

Push and shove.

The Zamboni wipes the slate clean 

Only for the children to bounce back on the ice 

Before the vehicle has even left the rink,

Stealing its virgin clarity, 

And the ice is re-adorned with scars 

From hundreds of foot-blades.

Kids picking themselves up as they fall down

Almost immediately drag themselves back to their feet.

The icy setbacks are mere trifles

For the toddlers 

That resemble tiny senior citizens

With their skating aids.

Not like me, wallowing in my bed today,

Tears returning every few minutes,

Provoked by any emotional thought.

Oh, to feel the cold air on my face 

And whiz by the Christmas tree and shops!

At night us birds blow around on the ice,

Basking in the brilliant beacon

At the centre of town, illuminating the darkness 

Of the Uptown city streets.

With music in my ears 

I cannot stop.

I cannot leave the ice.

Bruises and blisters pressed into my feet

By uncomfortable skates

Accompany me to the coffee shop

Where I sit, rest, sip and read,

Warming my hands with apple cider

And in a few days time I will return

To my roost.

To the ice.

© 2013 Naomi Bloom

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Crisp, clean lines like figure-8s in the "virgin clarity".
I especially like the line
"Sugar plums and peppermint spice",
But that might be because I'm a veteran of the Nutcracker. I once got together with some friends, boasting I could do a double tour because of dance experience- it was very humbling. Many "Icy setbacks" ensued.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Naomi Bloom

8 Years Ago

Ha. I don't know what a double tour is but it sounds hard. Thanks for reviewing!

8 Years Ago

I guess it would be like a double salcow, however you spell it.
Naomi Bloom

8 Years Ago

Haha I don't know what that is either but I looked it up and I get the idea. Looks difficult.
Hey! This is a great poem! I love the imagery of it and how well this is written. It's almost as if you're telling a story but in poetry style. This is a nice poem to read :)
Keep it up,
-Penelope H.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Naomi Bloom

9 Years Ago

Thank you!

9 Years Ago

You're welcome

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2 Reviews
Added on January 6, 2013
Last Updated on January 6, 2013
Tags: skating, outdoors, town square, winter, fun, public, skates, birds, ice, zamboni, poem, poetry, christmas, snow, tree, blades, music, people, children, adults, crowd, peace, serenity, town, square


Naomi Bloom
Naomi Bloom

Ontario, Canada

An amateur writer of poems, short stories and other types of writing. I recently graduated from university and I am trying to figure out what to do with my life. Victorian England, name meanings, be.. more..

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