Mark Halliday

      Well I’ve been afraid of changin’
      cuz I’ve built my life around you
                                     —Fleetwood Mac

Today in the car I heard the song that meant
my love at the end of 1975 and how afraid I was,
afraid of depending too much on the woman,
afraid of not being adult enough for her;

and I felt how nearly three decades have made me
not so much bolder but at least
in some of the good ways older—
yeah and I’m gettin’ older too
and how much the world didn’t ever care
about my growing or not
and how I’ve always been too surprised by this.

During the song I passed a municipal skating rink
and imagined the skaters blithely giving their weight
first to one, then to the other skate,
carving their tangled tracks,
some skating together, some alone
with gloved hands behind their backs,
only a few kids occasionally falling
and wobbling back into the elliptical chase,
everyone apparently at peace,
not starring in any show but keeping the acceptable pace,
their blades scarring the ice.