Little Red-Haired Skater – Ann Howells

A glacier blue bundle
stumbles on the ice,
barely able to bend her knees.
Double-bladed skates
trail a hockey team of big brothers,
stubby legs pumping stiff short strokes
as she struggles to keep up.
When she tumbles,
arms and legs flailing,
a brother swoops in,
uprights her, whizzes away.
Red-faced with exertion,
damp curl escaping her cap,
she is unquenchable:
if brothers can do it, she can too.
Someday, she’ll be an Olympian;
it’s written in her furrowed brow,
determined mouth.

Ann HowellsAnn Howells has edited Illya’s Honey since 1999, recently going digital. Books: Under a Lone Star (Village Books) also Cattlemen and Cadillacs, anthology of DFW poets she edited (Dallas Poets Community). Chapbooks: Black Crow in Flight (Main Street Rag), Letters for My Daughter (Flutter), and Softly Beating Wings, winner of William D. Barney Memorial Chapbook Contest for 2017 (Blackbead).