Academic journal article Hollins Critic

Clairvoyant

Academic journal article Hollins Critic

Clairvoyant

Article excerpt

    How often would we skate as a family, never thinking    of paying, out on the Delaware where Washington Crossed,    Trenton our vista, my brothers both Hessians who'd steal    across the ice alone, my sisters practicing their bird-leg skating,    one knee in their mittens, my mother back on shore    guarding the fragile thermoses--That's glass inside! --    and my father and I standing on ice in our galoshes,    occasionally having at a slide? I guess as often as the river    allowed, never settling for ponds or cricks or streams,    our ambition strong. But my father claimed immigrants    couldn't skate, having had no free time on the farm, no skates    or frozen rivers, and I was like an immigrant or a boy    with weak ankles, and stamina, and daring, more at ease    in the oxygen tent where I'd vacation alone in the hospital,    all lungs and claustrophobic murmuring, than on ice    where, not far below us, a river was moving, tumbling    the dead bodies along of men still in uniforms    or disgustingly naked, embedded sabers as rudders, their feet    touching bottom without pushing back. … 
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