31 December 1995
My knarled hands only tighten the knots in these weathered ice-skates.
So I keep them on my feet because that is where she put them.
At least they use butter, not biscuit knives. Easier to slow down
or to do that spin trick on fence posts.
I can barely make out the LCO pieced out of the welcome mat,
and the tongue is of cardboard since it ran out.
Do they have wooden ice-skates in Holland?
It would be so much simpler, all made of one piece; and no shoelaces.
I'd slide all the way over there if I could just get less traction on those dusty roads.
How tenderly she smiled as she tied them on.
She whispers Happy Birthday, which must be a mistake because
it is really her birthday. I have 48 days left still.
Who's the authority on birthdays around here anyway?
Maybe he'll let me change mine this year.
Maybe he already did, and then asked her to notify me.
Maybe she requested it and gave him her pretty green shoelaces.
Wasn't he happy enough simply to be King?
My piper's pipe is still very small and frail; my breath, weak.
I try to play, but I am so scared that a finger will slip and miss.
(Would it have been better to take a peace pipe instead?
But no -- that brings one sole note.
Unaccompanied and unchanging.
And it never cries.)
She looks up at me and I know she must understand.
A small tear drips down my face, and I turn my head
letting it slide into the wooden pipe, still in my hands,
bending the note until my breath runs out.
Copyright © 1995 Charles Fry
forgotten memories of being burned at the stake sweet dreams sharing hand-in-hand the stranger hidden courtyards holding You princess happy day loneliness fragile, handle with care my small trip to the cement factory dedication this record is for You the day that I cried Last night I woke up under my bed. my silver Dancing shoes Man my heart tears. the three things strait jackeght like you abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Fire cooks me Princess Alexandra: A Little Story cats up cat twice sweet rain water little children my heart How blind I am in wooden glasses. I know she's crying cause it stains her voice, Dear Family, I pound at my heart We run away from the ice cream truck purple sunset J. Elephant so i walk up to you with this the Soul queen so, you say that i do not speak window dear sweet old Ordinary i am a Harp