Mastering Figure Eights

Figure eights are the fundamentals of figure skating.

I step out onto the ice,
with freshly sharpened blades
and I cannot move.

I still remember
how to do spins and jumps,
I just can’t get my body to remember.
My balance is off
and I cannot gracefully glide.
I look like an amateur
slightly stumbling.

I must find my edges again
and curve circles.
I must find my center
again while spinning.

I must start with the scratch spins
and single jumps
then move up
to the laybacks and doubles.

I skate around
too nervous to attempt a double.
There’s five minutes left.
It’s now or never.

I turn,
pick goes in
and I’m in the air.
I land on my butt
with smile on my face.

Missing Laybacks and Double Loops

I

I step onto the ice
and skate to my mark.
Don’t fall, don’t screw
up; remember to keep
my arm in front
before takeoff
on the double loop.

Music begins and I’m off moving
from one element to the next
as gracefully as I can.
One landed jump
there and one completed spin
here. Double loop landed. Phew.
I take my curtsey.

I want to get back out there.
I wish I had enjoyed
the feel of the ice while it lasted.
November shows with skating stars
like Peggy Fleming and Trovill and Dean,
and Sunday mornings just for fun.
Jessica, Megan, Kristina, and I use to
practice, eat lunch, and shop together.

II

My biggest regret
was never going back.

I was in high school and wanted
to try new things.
Like acting classes with Monologues from Go.
You get this box, you’re sure your know what’s inside
of it, you shake it, you weigh it, you’re total convinced
you have it pegged, no doubt in your mind.
Then you open it up and it’s completely different.
You know, wow, bang, surprise.

This didn’t compare to the feeling
you get when you’re on the ice.
There’s a high you feel
when you’ve accomplished another difficult jump
or combination jump or spin.
Like double lutz or flying camel, sit spin.

The rush you feel when you jump
up in the air—keep your body tight
then land on one foot
and pull your left leg out behind you.

You can perform your routine
and make the audience
ooh and aw over the simplest of moves.
A spiral or step sequence makes the audience
cheer more than any double axel can.

III

I was on my way to the Olympics.
Why did I give up?

It was a community of aspiring
champions and we pushed
each other.
No double, double was too difficult
with friends rooting you on.

We all had the same gold medal dream;
it was just a matter of how far
we were willing to go.

One friend’s parents’ wouldn’t allow
her to skate with lower level
girls, in fear of hurting her chances.
At that point I was no longer invited
to her birthday parties.
She was only my best friend.

Most skaters moved on and never reached the top.
One fellow skater touched Olympic
ice last year. He did not medal,
but his ambition had been realized.

He had done what I had given
up. I pushed my self to the limits
of a broken foot and over rotated jumps.
I was too afraid to continue.
My coach had left. I
no longer had anyone
to help me reach the flame.

True Love

The one
is a myth.
He does not
exist.
He’s just a
bedtime story,
a fairy tale.
He’s in movies
like The Notebook.
If the one was
a reality,
I wouldn’t be alone.
Don’t tell me I haven’t
found him yet,
because that would
be a lie.
If the one exists,
he would not cheat.
He would not try to
make you give up
your dreams.
And this is why I know,
the one is a myth.

Cat’s Night Out

 

 

 

 

 

I noticed the screened door
Open one night.
I decided to take
A stroll outside.
My person never lets me
Go outside.
There are a million smells
I have noticed from an open door
Or the inside of this cage.
It’s cruel to let me smell
And not let me investigate.

Walking down the street,
I came across two cats.
“Who are you?”
One asked.
The other hissed.
I hissed back.

They slowly approached me.
“Go back to your street now,
We won’t tell you again,” the second cat hissed.
I held my chin high.

The two cats attacked me.
Biting at my neck,
A claw just missed my eye.
I tried to fight
back, but I have no front claws.
They had me outnumbered.
All of a sudden barking emerged.
The two cats screamed “Dog”,
And ran away.

I hobbled back to the screen door,
Still open.
I went to my person’s window
And cried
And cried.
Now I know why she never
Lets me out.

Dreams

We all have dreams,
but when do we give
them up?
For love?
What if we
don’t give them up?
Can love survive our
dreams?
We fight the battle
of holding on to love
and our dreams,
but at some point
one of them dies.

I guess it depends
on which one
we fight for harder.
Never say it can wait,
because it can’t.
In that moment you’ve
made a decision.
You might not know it,
but you have.
In that moment
you’ve lost the battle.
Who won,
love or your dreams?

After we’ve lost love,
the battle to make
our dreams come true
continues.
Don’t let go,
they’re all you have left.
You fight, you fight till you’ve won.
And never look back.

Fleas

Cleo rips her hair out because the biting
won’t stop. A Mohawk is on her back where

the hair is left. Her back legs and butt are
completely bald. Her skin has turned slightly

red from the constant scratching and gnawing.
Cuts and scabs cover her body. Darius on

the other hand, still has all his hair, but
it’s dyed pink from the blood. Princess is hardly

bothering at all. She lounges with no stress,
while the other two go crazy trying to make them

stop. We spray, give them baths, and medication
to no avail. We can’t figure out why they love

Cleo and Darius’ blood. I want to make
the scratching stop, so they can be released.

Love

I thought love was about
roses on Valentines Day.
I thought love was about
support.
I thought love was about
spending your life with someone.
I was wrong.

Love is messy.
Love is painful.
Love is about giving up
your dreams.
I chose not to give up
my dreams,
so I lost love.
I said goodbye to love
the day I left him.
I just didn’t know it.
All my hopes of love
have shattered.