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FURTHER READING
Poems by Cynthia Zarin
Birch
Related Prose
Poems about Christmas
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Skating in Harlem, Christmas Day

 
by Cynthia Zarin

To Mary Jo Salter

Beyond the ice-bound stones and bucking trees, 
past bewildered Mary, the Meer in snow, 
two skating rinks and two black crooked paths

are a battered pair of reading glasses 
scratched by the skater's multiplying math. 
Beset, I play this game of tic-tac-toe.

Divide, subtract. Who can tell if love surpasses? 
Two naughts we've learned make one astonished 0-- 
a hectic night of goats and compasses.

Folly tells the truth by what it's not-- 
one X equals a fall I'd not forgo. 
Are ice and fire the integers we've got?

Skating backwards tells another story-- 
the risky star above the freezing town, 
a way to walk on water and not drown.






Excerpted from The Watercourse by Cynthia Zarin. Copyright © 2002 by Cynthia Zarin. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced without permission in writing from the publisher.
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