THE POET’S SWEATSHOP – PROUD TO SHARE A GEM FOR ALL SEASONS

LEARNING TO SKI
(For Rosanna)

The hillside is a blank page
On which I carve my hieroglyphs:
Snowplow, slalom, parallel turn.
A week ago these signifiers
Were incomprehensible to me;
Now I speak the language of the slopes,
Shifting the weight of consonants on my tongue –
Snowplow, slalom, parallel turn.
I swoop on bladed feet across the silence.

I thought I’d miss the moment, at my time of life,
To master a new dialect of risk.
But you have taught me things about myself I never guessed;
You have shown me blue skies where only blizzards flew;
Folds of sunlight on mountainsides;
Valleys wedged in the doorway of heaven.

C. Anthony Gardner 2010

Anthony is a novelist, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, editor of the RSL, the Society’s Review, and founder of http://www.tomorrowsbooks.com
His novel, The Rivers of Heaven, is published by Starhaven. He lives in London, with Rosanna and Sasha.

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