by Susan Gillis
I’ve looked everywhere for the little movie of my father
skating on Frog Pond on a bright afternoon in 1962
grinning at the camera as he glides, arms spread, scarf
sailing out behind him. I can’t find
the faint shunting sound as he chassés and turns
across sun-softened ice, as though he alone among
a whole neighbourhood out in the crisp air, sunlight
warming their faces too, gilding their hair too, knew
joy, twirling and cascading over the big pond
framed by the backdrop of spruce and pine,
shoreline rocks and dry reeds poking through.
My brother doesn’t have it, my sisters don’t remember it
and my mother let go of things like that long ago.
There’s a moment before
the part where he’s skating free
where he’s leaning slightly forward,
holding two tiny mittened hands in his.
The camera loves his rough woollen khakis
tucked into socks, the dark red leather skates
cutting slow Cs and hourglasses
that steer him backwards while
the camera glides along.
— from Juniper Volume 4, Issue 3