Pond Hockey This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I step out onto the ice

Hoping that it won't ruin

The blades of my $200 skates.

I take a few tentative strides,

The ice isn't so bad, except for

The patch of grass and the long, deep crack

Down by the far goal. I skate

Around to get the feel of the ice.

It is hockey at its purest.

Outside, no boards, a few lights,

Snow banks surrounding the ice.

Only the hockey purist could enjoy

This. Wearing a T-shirt, long-sleeved T-shirt,

Sweatshirt, jersey, wind jacket, and

Sweatpants over my shin guards.

No equipment to constrict us,

No helmets to obstruct our view.

I skate, hair flying (like Guy LaFleur's golden locks)

In this pitch black starless night.

Shoot at the rickety old nets.

Our coach shows up, finally,

And we break into teams

For a game of old-fashioned shinny.

Six or seven to a side, no rules,

Checking people into the snow banks

A scene reminiscent of Canada

In the A50s. I played like the helmetless

Greats: Richard, Howe, Orr, Esposito.

Flying around the ice, sending people

Flying into the snow banks. Chunks of

White snow contrasting the pitch of

The night. I can see

The moisture coming out of my mouth.

Cold? Never. This is how hockey should

Be played. Afterward, a little one-on-one

With my coach to avoid going home. This

Is too fun. I knock him off the puck

But he gets it back. I check him into

The snowbank a la Henri "This Pocket Rocket" Richard

And skate away, laughing.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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