What We Regret
by Priscilla Orr


For Lynne S. Dumas


Even with a trainer,
she clung to the side rail
one hand cupped, ready to grip
as he coaxed her onto the rink.

Over forty, this was no gold medal
dream. At seven, the vision had spun
and twirled only in her room.
But now, just the uncut nerve of her leg
thrust forward in a wobble and bob
seemed Olympic enough.

To lift off , she must trust the sharp-edged
steel to cut into the grain of the ice,
let loose her clutched hand and glide.

I never saw her skate, never saw the downy
lake surface on which she flew .
Missed her first glide, the backward drift,
the gentle arc of her spin.

In our infinite motion,
how heroic the human heart,
always a salchow and a triple lutz
ahead of our lumbering selves.






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