Pond Hockey MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   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.



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