In the warming house, children lace their skates,
bending, choked, over their thick jackets.
A Franklin stove keeps the place so cozy
it’ s hard to imagine why anyone would leave,
clumping across the frozen beach to the river.
December’ s always the same at Ware’ s Cove,
the first sheer ice, black, then white
and deep until the city sends trucks of men
with wooden barriers to put up the boys’
hockey rink. An hour of skating after school,